Detective James L. Kelly

Detective James L. Kelly

Gary Police Department, Indiana

End of Watch Thursday, March 31, 1932

Add to My Heroes

James L. Kelly

Detective James Kelly was shot and killed in Oak Park, Illinois, while investigating several armed robberies in Gary and Hammond.

Upon receiving information the gang responsible for these crimes was headquartered at 37 Harrison Street, Detective Kelly and an Oak Park detective entered the apartment building. Although the primary suspect was not there, three other suspects were arrested and their weapons confiscated. As the officers walked the men to a nearby corner with a patrol box, one suspect drew a second concealed revolver. Detective Kelly was shot and killed, while the Oak Park detective was wounded, but was able to return fire injuring another suspect.

Two of the suspects were held, but the shooter fled the scene. On April 16, he and another gang member were arrested in Newark, Ohio, after robbing two theater messengers of $400 in Zanesville the night before. The shooter pleaded guilty to murder in exchange for being spared the death penalty. He was sentenced to life in prison on June 3, 1932.

Detective Kelly was survived by his wife and four children. He is buried at Calvary Cemetery in Portage, Indiana.


  • Age 33
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Location Illinois
  • Weapon Handgun; Revolver
  • Offender Sentenced to life


Most Recent Reflection

View all 13 Reflections

Rest in peace Detective Kelly.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

July 29, 2022

Want even more control of your Reflection? Create a free ODMP account now for these benefits:

  • Quick access to your heroes
  • Reflections published quicker
  • Save a Reflection signature
  • View, edit or delete any Reflection you've left in the past

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.