Sergeant
Joseph Louis O'Brien
Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Police Department
Sunday, October 30, 1932

Age: 37
Served:
Badge #:
Not Included
Not Included

Incident Details

Cause of Death:
Gunfire
Date/Time of Incident:
Saturday, October 29, 1932
11:45 pm
Incident to Death Duration:
1 day
Incident Location:
Baltimore and Ohio rail yards, East Chicago
Incident County:
Lake
Incident Township:
North
Weapon Used:
Shotgun
Suspect Disposition:
Sentenced to life
Burial Place:
Forest Hill Cemetery, Piqua, Ohio

   Sergeant Joseph O'Brien was shot and killed after encountering five men who had stolen merchandise from trains in the East Chicago rail yards.

   As he and another officer began walking toward Cline Avenue after the train had moved out of the yard, they were confronted by the subjects. One of the men opened fire on them without warning with a sawed-off shotgun, striking Sergeant O'Brien in the face before the suspects fled the scene.

   The other officer, who was shot in the arm and shoulder, was able to flag down a passing motorist near Industrial Highway and taken to the police station. An ambulance was sent to take Sergeant O'Brien to St. Catherine Hospital where he died.

   Five men were subsequently arrested and charged. The 32-year-old shooter later pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to life in prison. The four other offenders pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary and each were sentenced to three to 10 years.

   Sergeant O'Brien was survived by his wife, sister and two brothers.

Military Service


United States Marine Corps
World War I


The responsibilities of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Police Department (1828–1987) are now under the jurisdiction of the CSX Transportation Railroad Police Department.

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This officer, discovered in 2017, has not been submitted for consideration as an eligible line of duty death to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund by the CSX Transportation Railroad Police Department.

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Sergeant Joseph Louis O'Brien - Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Police Department - INLEM.org