James Louis Kelly
Gary Police Department
Thursday, March 31, 1932

Age: 33
Served: 2 months
Badge #:
Panel 46E, Line 9
Panel L20, Line 7

Incident Details

Cause of Death:
Date/Time of Incident:
Thursday, March 31, 1932
04:50 am
Incident to Death Duration:
Same day
Incident Location:
37 Harrison Street, Oak Park, Illinois
Incident County:
Incident Township:
Oak Park
Weapon Used:
Suspect Disposition:
Sentenced to life
Burial Place:
Calvary Cemetery, Portage

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   Detective James Kelly was shot and killed in Oak Park, Illinois, while investigating several armed robberies that had occurred in Gary and Hammond.

   Upon receiving information the gang responsible for these crimes was headquartered in Illinois, Detective Kelly and an Oak Park detective entered the Evelyn Apartments.

   Although the 33-year-old primary male suspect was not there, three other suspects were arrested and their weapons confiscated.

   As the officers walked the men to a callbox at Harrison Street and Austin Boulevard nearby, one suspect drew a second concealed revolver and began firing.

   Detective Kelly was struck by gunfire and taken to West Suburban Hospital where he died. The Oak Park detective, who was wounded but survived, returned fire and injured one of the other suspects.

   The 31- and 32-year-old suspects were held but the shooter fled the scene. On April 16, he and another gang member, age 50, were arrested in Newark, Ohio, after robbing two theater messengers of $400 in Zanesville the night before.

   The 24-year-old shooter pleaded guilty to murder in exchange for being spared the death penalty and was sentenced to life in prison.

   Detective Kelly was survived by his wife, 4-year-old son, 6-month, 6- and 9-year-old daughters and parents.

Historical Note

• Detective Kelly is one of eight Indiana line of duty death incidents that occurred in another state.

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