Patrolman Thomas Kelma

Patrolman Thomas Kelma

Chicago Police Department, Illinois

End of Watch Friday, May 31, 1935

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Thomas Kelma

Officer Thomas Kelma was shot and mortally wounded while attempting to arrest four armed robbers. Officer Kelma observed four armed robbers enter a lounge. As Officer Kelma intervened, a struggle ensued. The gunmen fired at the officer and fled. Officer Kelma succumbed to his wounds.

All four suspects were arrested and charged with Officer Kelma's murder. On July 26, 1935, one of the suspects was sentenced to life in prison. He was denied parole in 1950. Another was sentenced to 199 years. He escaped from prison with six others in 1942. A guard was seriously wounded when he was shot and fell from his watch tower. All seven were captured in Chicago two months later. He was denied parole in 1960. Another was sentenced to 14 years. The suspect who shot Officer Kelma hanged himself in his jail cell just before he was to be sentenced.


  • Age 38
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge 427

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Committed suicide in jail

Most Recent Reflection

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Patrolman Kelma, rest in peace.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

August 21, 2019

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