Police Officer Jay F. Brunkella

Police Officer Jay F. Brunkella

Chicago Police Department, Illinois

End of Watch Saturday, October 4, 1986

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Jay F. Brunkella

Police Officer Jay Brunkella was shot and killed during a narcotics arrest near the Stephen F. Gale Elementary School at 1631 W. Jonquil Terrace.

Officer Brunkella and fellow narcotics officers were stationed at the grammar school in response to complaints about drug sales that occurred there. The officers observed a drug deal and they attempted to take one of the suspects into custody. One of the officers caught the female suspect and fell to the ground during the ensuing struggle. The officer's service weapon discharged when he fell to the ground and the round struck Officer Brunkella.

He was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his wounds.

The woman was convicted of murder and sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Officer Brunkella had served with the Chicago Police Department for 18 years. He was survived by his wife, son, mother, and brother.


  • Age 39
  • Tour 18 years
  • Badge 3429

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire (Inadvertent)
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Sentenced to 20 years

narcotics, foot pursuit

Most Recent Reflection

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Jay was my first cousin. I was 16 the last time I saw him, I remember him as quiet but kind, when he was undercover he dropped by his mom and dad's apartment while we were visiting, and because no one heard the door buzzer he climbed 3 stories on the outside of the building to get in. He was undercover then and had long blond hair and a beard, which I thought was cool. He complained that the street dealers would let each other know when uniforms were in the area, which is why he chose undercover. This was way before cel phones so they had whistles to alert each other when cops were patrolling. I remember his wife and their dog CJ, he moved his VW Squareback out of their parking space onto the street for us to park and the way he moved that car was like NASCAR driving! I have always had a special respect for Police, because of Jay... I have a photo of him on his couch stretching after just getting home in January 1972

PFC Kevin Horne
1st Cousin

April 20, 2020

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