Detective William Richard Mooney

Detective William Richard Mooney

Chicago Police Department, Illinois

End of Watch Saturday, January 4, 1908

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William Richard Mooney

Detective William R. Mooney was shot and fatally wounded as he stopped 3 suspects for questioning. At 7:30 p.m., Detective Mooney and two other detectives were taking a burglary report that occurred earlier in the afternoon. They were near the intersection of Sangamon and Van Buren.

Mooney noticed three suspicious men and asked the victim to look them over as they approached. As they neared, Mooney directed the tallest of the trio, "Come here a moment. I want to see you". Mooney grabbed the suspect by the sleeve and his two companions ran north on Sangamon Street.

Still holding the suspect, the detective fired several shots in the air to attract attention of the other two detectives who were then at the patrol box.

The detectives turned on hearing the first shot, drew their weapons and fired at the fleeing men. One detective started in pursuit, leaving the second detective in charge of the prisoner at the box.

At that same instant, another shot was fired. The detective turned in time to witness Mooney fall to the sidewalk and the tall suspect, revolver in hand, run north on Sangamon Street. Dragging his prisoner with him, the detective began to pursue the gunman, firing as he ran.

Meanwhile, the gunman's companions drew their revolvers and engaged the pursuing detective in a gun battle as they continued to run north on Sangamon Street. The gunmen emptied their revolvers and took turns reloading and firing. When they reached Monroe Street, the men turned west and the pursuing detective soon lost sight of them.

Hundreds attracted by the shooting gathered around the wounded detective and he was carried to Grace Hospital by several men in the crowd. Detective Mooney was still conscious and able to provide a description of his assailant.

Innocent bystanders were also hit by gunfire and were carried to the hospital, placed on cots next to Detective Mooney.

Nine years earlier, Detective Mooney was paralyzed for one year after being struck on the head by a thief at Peoria and Monroe Streets.

Detective Mooney succumbed to his wounds at 1:48 a.m. the following morning. He is survived by his wife and two sons. He was preceded in death by another son one year earlier. Detective Mooney is a 16 year veteran of the Chicago Police Department.


  • Age 45
  • Tour 23 years
  • Badge 2590

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Thursday, January 2, 1908
  • Weapon Handgun; Revolver
  • Offender Arrested

Most Recent Reflection

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Rest in peace always knowing that no passage of time can ever erase your service and sacrifice.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

January 4, 2021

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