Patrolman Cornelius Wilson

Patrolman Cornelius Wilson

Chicago Police Department, Illinois

End of Watch Thursday, May 1, 1919

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Cornelius Wilson

Patrolman Cornelius Wilson was shot and killed while questioning robbery suspects at 37th and State Streets in Chicago.

Patrolman Wilson was walking home after his tour of duty when he observed three men suspected of committing a series of armed robberies. Officer Wilson approached and asked a few questions. Without warning, two of the men produced handguns and began firing. Officer Wilson was able to return fire, killing one of his assailants. A motorist took Officer Wilson to Provident Hospital, but his wounds were fatal.

The two remaining suspects confessed to killing Patrolman Wilson. One suspect was convicted of felony murder and sentenced to life imprisonment in Joliet Prison. The second suspect was sentenced to life imprisonment; the prison is unknown.

Patrolman Wilson had served four years with the Chicago Police Department and was the first black Chicago Police Officer killed in the line of duty. Patrolman Wilson was survived by his wife and parents.

He is buried at the Odd Fellows Cemetery in Campbellsville, Kentucky.


  • Age 29
  • Tour 4 years
  • Badge 2902

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender One killed; two sentenced to life

suspicious person

Most Recent Reflection

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This man was married to my great aunt Amy Jean Pettiford Wilson. I remember hearing the story of his death in the line of duty I just didn't know all of the circumstances.

He was married to my Aunt so he was my Uncle by marriage.

July 29, 2023

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