Patrolman Phillip J. Kelly

Patrolman Phillip J. Kelly

Chicago Police Department, Illinois

End of Watch Wednesday, May 10, 1939

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Phillip J. Kelly

Patrolman Philip J. Kelly was shot and mortally wounded in a gun battle with two armed robbers in a tavern at 4623 North Western Avenue.

He and his partner were sitting at the bar, off duty and in plainclothes, when two armed men entered the tavern and announced a robbery. As the two officers drew their guns, the suspects opened fire. Patrolman Kelly suffered a fatal gunshot wound, his partner was seriously wounded, and another patron was killed.

Patrolman Kelly's partner shot one of the men in the back as they fled the tavern. The suspects summoned a doctor from his home and forced him at gunpoint to go with them to their apartment and remove the bullet. The next day the suspects were captured in Detroit, Michigan. Patrolman Kelly died from his wound one week later.

Both suspects were convicted of the patron's murder on June 19th, 1939. They were both executed in the electric chair on June 20th, 1941.

Patrolman Kelly had served with the Chicago Police Department for over six years. He was survived by his father and three brothers.


  • Age 35
  • Tour 6 years, 4 months
  • Badge 6161

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Wednesday, May 3, 1939
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Executed in 1941

off duty, robbery

Most Recent Reflection

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Patrolman Kelly,
On today, the 80th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Chicago.

BPA Mike Casey
United States Border Patrol
El Paso Station

May 10, 2019

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