Article

Name: Rourke Jr, Cornelius
Star: Unknown
Memorial Panel #: 24
Rank: Lieutenant
District / Unit: 006 District
End of Watch: 23 October 1967
Incident Details: Sergeant Cornelious Rourke, 65, a 30-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 006 District. On October 23, 1967, Sergeant Rourke was driving southbound on Halsted Street when he observed a vehicle rolling through a stop sign. The sergeant curbed the vehicle at 350 W. 87thStreet and ordered the occupants of the vehicle to exit-Lorenzo Bacon, Richard Pillow, and Ronald Turner. Unbeknownst to the sergeant the three had earlier committed an armed robbery. The men were ordered to the rear of the vehicle and frisked. Sgt. Rourke was calling for assistance when two of the offenders began walking towards the passenger side of the car. Sgt. Rourke commanded them to return to their position. One of the men complied, but Lorenzo Bacon turned around and shot the sergeant in the lower abdomen. The sergeant returned gunfire and struck Richard Pillow. The three men fled the scene and abandoned their vehicle shortly after. Sgt. Rourke was rushed to Little Company of Mary Hospital by Officer Dennis O’Hare. O’Hare had been driving his squad car nearby and was flagged down by a group of people. Richard Pillow, 18, was arrested when he sought medical treatment at a hospital for a bullet wound to the shoulder. Ronald Turner, 21, was arrested while driving a get-away car in another incident. Lorenzo Bacon, 21, was arrested by the Illinois State Police onboard a bus going to Wichita, Kansas. Pillow and Turner were charged with attempted murder, armed robbery, and aggravated battery. Both were found guilty of aggravated battery and were sentenced to serve three to five years. Bacon was charged and found guilty of attempted murder and aggravated battery. Bacon appealed his conviction and was subsequently released from prison. In 1974, Bacon was charged with attempted murder, armed violence, aggravated battery, four counts of armed robbery, and a weapons violation for robbing, pistol-whipping, and firing one failed shot at a 71-year old tavern owner. Later on, he attempted to shoot the arresting officer. Sergeant Rourke survived the incident and had medical complications for the remainder of his life. He returned to the department in 1979, and left in 1980 due to his medical issues. In 1982, he returned to the CPD and was promoted to lieutenant, but went back on disability in 1986. Lt. Rourke retired in 1988. He died on September 7, 1992, at the age of 65, of cirrhosis of the liver which he developed as a result of the blood transfusions he received when he was wounded. Lieutenant Rourke’s funeral mass was held at St. Bede the Venerable Church. He is survived by his wife, Dolores “Dee”; two daughters, Linda and Susan; four sons, John, Daniel, Michael and Neal; his mother, Mae; a sister; and grandchildren.

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