Special Agent Richard Kelly

Special Agent Richard Kelly

Illinois Central Railroad Police Department, Railroad Police

End of Watch Thursday, May 30, 1935

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Richard Kelly

Special Agent Richard Kelly was shot and killed in the Illinois Central Railroad yards in Paducah, Kentucky, while searching a train for thieves.

He had observed a rope hanging over a boxcar that had entered the yards. He and two railroad workers opened the locked boxcar to inspect it but were surprised by several people inside. One of the occupants opened fire with a .45 caliber handgun, striking Special Agent Kelly in the chest. All of the subjects then fled the area on foot.

Investigators believed at the time that the men had entered the boxcar in another city to steal liquor but became trapped inside when the train suddenly moved and engaged an automatic lock on the door. It is not known if the suspects were ever apprehended.

Special Agent Kelly had previously served with the Paducah Police Department. He was survived by his wife, infant daughter, parents, and two brothers.


  • Age 31
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Location Kentucky
  • Weapon Handgun; .45 caliber
  • Offender Not available

Most Recent Reflection

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Agent Kelly,
Sir, it has taken over 81 years but you are finally being honored. I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice as a LEO.


United States Border Patrol

September 5, 2016

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