Patrolman Cornelius Barrett

Patrolman Cornelius Barrett

Chicago Police Department, Illinois

End of Watch Sunday, May 31, 1885

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Cornelius Barrett

Patrolman Cornelius Barrett was shot and killed as he attempted to arrest a man who had taken control of a train.

The suspect, who boarded the train in Kansas City, was drunk and went among passengers asking them to drink with him. When they refused he became a raving maniac, produced a pistol, and ran everyone from the car he was in. Under the idea that he was being pursued by lynchers, he shot at everyone whom he saw, seriously wounding a passenger agent.

The engineer was able to get a message off of the train telling of the problem. As soon as the train reached the Polk Street Depot several officers rushed the car that the subject was in. The man jumped from the car, shot and killed Officer Barrett, and ran up 4th Street. The suspect was shot three times in the back and was critically wounded.

After the subject jumped from the train a plainclothes officer was critically wounded when a citizen mistook him for the suspect and hit him in the head with a brickbat. He eventually recovered from his injury.

The subject recovered from his wounds, was declared insane, and sent to the asylum in Elgin, Michigan, on July 9th, 1885.

Patrolman Barrett served with the Chicago Police Department for less than three years.


  • Age 34
  • Tour 2 years, 10 months
  • Badge 63

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .44 caliber
  • Offender Committed

Most Recent Reflection

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Officer Barrett's story was read in Richton Park Police Department's roll call on 3-10-18 to remember and honor him.

Sgt. James Galvan
Richton Park Police (IL)

March 10, 2018

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