Patrolman Thomas J. Kelly

Patrolman Thomas J. Kelly

Chicago Police Department, Illinois

End of Watch Tuesday, March 3, 1970

Thomas J. Kelly

Patrolman Thomas J. Kelly died from a gunshot wound inflicted
during a routine traffic stop. Officer Kelly and his partner
observed a traffic violation and stopped a car with two men at
360 E. 44th Street. As they approached the car, Officer Kelly
stood outside as his partner searched the interior. Suddenly,
one of the vehicle's occupants pulled a gun, fatally wounding
Patrolman Kelly. Upon hearing the gunshots, his partner tried
to draw his weapon but was struck twice before he could
return fire. When then attempted to shoot Kelly's partner a
third time, their gun misfired and they escaped on foot.
Officer Kelly was transported to Provident Hospital where he
was pronounced dead on arrival.

The driver and the occupant were discovered later the same
day at 6543 S. Wood Street. More than 100 police and
firemen surrounded the building and fired tear gas through

The shooter was found guilty of the murder of Patrolman Kelly
and aggravated battery in connection with the shooting of the
second officer who made a full recovery.

He received the death penalty. When the courts overturned
the death penalty, he was sentenced to life in prison.

On July 29, 2010, the Illinois Prisoner Review Board voted
unanimously to reject his parole request. He was also given
the maximum time of three years before he would be up for
parole again.

Patrolman Thomas J. Kelly was a 4-year veteran of the
department and was survived by his parents, two brothers and
a fiancée. He was laid to rest at St. Mary's Cemetery.


  • Age 26
  • Tour 4 years
  • Badge 12145

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Convicted

Most Recent Reflection

View all 25 Reflections

My name is Thomas Kelly too. My father (deceased) was a Chicago policeman too. Like you Officer Kelly, I am a graduate of St. Rita High School ('67). I just wanted to say that you are a credit to the name Kelly, a credit to St. Rita High School, and credit to the city of Chicago, and a credit to all law enforcement officers across the country.

May perpetual light shine upon you Officer Kelly.....God Bless you, and your family.

Thomas M. Kelly
St. Rita High School alums

March 29, 2017

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