Name: Airhart, Joseph M. Star: 20931 Memorial Panel #: 21 Rank: Detective District / Unit: CPD/FBI Violent Crimes Task Force End of Watch: 04 November 2008 Incident Details: det-joseph-airhart-20931-0-100 Name: Airhart Jr., Joseph M. Star: 20931 Rank: Detective District / Unit: CPD/FBI Violent Crimes Task Force End of Watch: 04-Nov-2008 Incident Details: Detective Joseph Airhart was a 19-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department. On August 28, 2001, Detective Airhart was involved in a Chicago Police Department and FBI joint task force raid. Detective Airhart pretended to be a delivery man and knocked on the door of bank robbery suspect, Daniel Salley. Salley opened the door, but then attempted to slam it shut. Detective Airhart gained entrance and pursued Salley when the offender opened fire. Salley proceeded to take the wounded officer hostage for approximately two hours before surrendering. Detective Airhart was transported to Northwestern Hospital. The detective was in a coma for two months before he awoke. He was unable to speak or swallow food on his own again for the remainder of his life. Detective Airhart, 53, died on November 4, 2008. Daniel Salley was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison plus 132 years in prison. Detective Airhart’s funeral was held at Rockefeller Chapel at the University of Chicago and he was laid to rest in Beverly Cemetery.
Name: Taylor, Nathaniel Star: 7322 Memorial Panel #: 20 Rank: Police Officer District / Unit: Organized Crime Division End of Watch: 28 September 2008 Incident Details: Nathaniel Taylor, Jr., 39, was a 14-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the Organized Crime Division. On September 28, 2008, Officer Nathaniel Taylor, and his partner, Officer Lemornet Miller, were waiting outside of a home in the 7900 block of South Clyde Avenue in order to execute a search warrant. As the officers waited for Calumet Area narcotics officers to arrive, the owner of the home, Lamar Cooper, unexpectedly returned to his home. The officers radioed their superior that Cooper had arrived, and they were given permission to proceed and detain Cooper before he entered the home. Officer Taylor was approximately six feet away from Cooper’s open door window when he shouted, “Police. Put your hands up!” Cooper drew his weapon and shot Officer Taylor twice. Officer Miller returned gunfire and struck Cooper; he recovered. Officer Taylor was transported to Advocate Christ Medical Center where he died of his gunshot wounds. Lamar Cooper, 40, was convicted of the first-degree murder of Officer Taylor and several narcotics charges. Cooper is ineligible for parole. The felon had previously been convicted of the attempted murder of a police officer for which he had only served six-years in prison. Officer Taylor’s funeral mass was held at St. Bede the Venerable Church and he was laid to rest in Lincoln Cemetery. He is survived by his daughter, Naomi.
Name: Robbins, Michael A. Star: 4203 Memorial Panel #: 24 Rank: Police Officer District / Unit: 003 District End of Watch: 13 September 2008 Incident Details: Police Officer Michael Robbins, 57, was an 8-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 003 District. On September 13, 2008, Officer Robbins succumbed to complications from injuries he had sustained in the line of duty 14-years earlier. On September 10, 1994, Officer Robbins and his partner, Talmatch Jackson, 35, responded to a shots fired call. The officers were in their squad car when Claudius McGee shot them through their open car window. Officer Robbins was shot eleven times and Officer Jackson was shot four times. Both officers survived the incident, but sustained permanent injuries. Despite Officer Robbins wearing his bullet proof vest, three of the bullets were permanently lodged into his heart. Officer Robbins was on medical leave for the remainder of his career. He became a community activist. Christopher McGee, 22, was found guilty of two counts of attempted murder. He was sentenced to 120 years in prison. Officer Robbins’ funeral mass was held at St. Columbanus Catholic Church. He is survived by his daughter, Michelle Robbins Miles; sons, Michael Anthony Robbins Jr., and Michael Christopher Keith Threlkeld; stepson, Lawrence A. Willis; a brother, Robert Bradley; and grandchildren. He was a Vietnam Veteran.
Name: Francis, Richard M. Star: 5276 Memorial Panel #: 19 Rank: Police Officer District / Unit: 019 District End of Watch: 02 July 2008 Incident Details: Officer Richard Francis, 60, was a 27-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 019 District. On July 2, 2008, Officer Richard Francis was on patrol alone when he responded to a disturbance occurring on a CTA bus near the intersection of Belmont and Western Avenues. A CTA bus passenger contacted police for help after a woman began to harass and scream at her. Officer Francis heard the radio call in his vehicle and told dispatch he would handle the incident alone. The officer drove to the CTA bus stop, a block away from his Belmont District, believing the incident would be nothing more than a routine disturbance. When he arrived, the aggressive passenger, Robin Johnson, was a woman familiar to him and other Belmont District Officers. As Francis stood near Johnson, she disarmed and shot him. Officer Francis fell to the ground and laid motionless as Johnson shot him two more times. Johnson then shot at responding officers who returned fire — 20 shots fired in seven seconds. Johnson was transported to a local hospital where she made a full recovery. Officer Francis died of his injuries at the scene. Officer Francis’ funeral was held at St. Monica Church. He is survived by his wife Deborah; two step-daughters, Bianca and Amanda.
Name: Solorio, Eric Star: 13609 Memorial Panel #: 9 Rank: Police Officer District / Unit: Targeted Response Unit End of Watch: 12 February 2006 Incident Details: Eric Solorio, 26, was a 3-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the Targeted Response Unit. On January 17, 2006, Officer Solorio and his partner witnessed a speeding vehicle near the intersection of 67th Street and Union Avenue. Officer Solorio was in the passenger side seat of his squad car as they were pursuing a speeding vehicle traveling eastbound on 67th Street. Officer Solorio’s partner swerved to avoid hitting another vehicle; they drove over a patch of black ice and lost control of the vehicle. The car came to a stop after colliding with a tree, and then, a Church on the 700 block of West Marquette Avenue. The officer driving the squad car recovered from his injuries. Officer Solorio was critically injured and rushed to Christ Medical Center. After surgery, Officer Solorio awoke and blew everyone in his hospital room kisses. Tragically, Officer Solorio succumbed to his injuries on February 12, 2006. Police Officer Solorio’s funeral mass was held at Holy Cross Church and he was laid to rest in Ressurection Cemetery. He is survived by his mother, Amelia; sisters, Richelle and Rosa; and his brother, Richard.
Name: Gordon, Michael P. Star: 18751 Memorial Panel #: 15 Rank: Police Officer District / Unit: 011 District End of Watch: 08 August 2004 Incident Details: Police Officer Michael Gordon, 30, was a two-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 011 District. On August 8, 2004, Officer Michael Gordon and his temporary partner were near the end of their shift in the Harrison District. At 5:45 a.m., the officers were driving through the intersection of Jackson Boulevard and Sacramento Boulevard when their squad car was hit by a drunk unlicensed driver who disregarded a red light. The force of the collision caused both officers to be ejected from their squad car. The officers and the offender were transported to local hospitals. The drunk driver registered a 0.177 blood alcohol level before dying during surgery. Officer Gordon’s partner was seriously injured and transported to Mount Sinai Hospital where he later recovered. Tragically, Officer Gordon was pronounced dead at Stroger Hospital. In 2006, the State of Illinois enacted the Michael’s Law which made it a felony to drive while under the influence without a valid driver’s license and an insurance card. On November 22, 2013, the Chicago Police Department honored Officer Gordon by dedicating the new DUI Laboratory in his memory. Police Officer and U.S. Army Veteran Michael Gordon’s funeral was held at Our Lady of Charity Church and he was laid to rest in Mt. Vernon Memorial Estates. He is survived by his wife, Guin; children, Malik, Cullen, and Grace; stepson, David Lopez; parents, Robert (Ret. Asst. Chief Riverside PD) and Carol; and his brothers, John and Robert III (Berwyn PD).
Name: Jackson, Roberto Star: Unknown Memorial Panel #: 2 Rank: Police Officer District / Unit: 011 District End of Watch: 11 June 2003 Incident Details: Police Officer Roberto Jackson, 52, was a 22-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 011 District. On June 11, 2003, Officer Roberto Jackson was off duty when she was involved in a domestic incident with her son. Officer Jackson was at home when she received a phone call that her son was attempting to commit suicide by walking in front of moving vehicles down the street. The officer, her daughter, and a male rushed to the 1600 block of North Mobile Avenue to help him. Officer Jackson spotted a gun in her son’s pocket and gave him a bear hug in an attempt to subdue him. Tragically, her son reached for the gun and shot himself. However, the bullet intended to kill him, traveled through him and into his mother. Officer Roberto Jackson was transported to Mount Sinai Hospital where she succumbed to her injuries. Her son survived the incident. Officer Roberto Jackson’s funeral mass was held at New Life Christian Fellowship Church. She is survived by her mother; daughter, Dakia; son, James; grandson, James; and siblings.
Name: O’Reilly, Philip J. Star: 2321 Memorial Panel #: 15 Rank: Sergeant District / Unit: 020 District End of Watch: 16 March 2003 Incident Details: Sergeant Philip O’Reilly, 41, was a 16-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 020 District. On March 16, 2003, Sergeant Philip O’Reilly was patrolling in his squad car when he was involved in a vehicular collision at approximately 4:30 a.m. The sergeant was driving through the intersection of Granville Avenue and Western Avenue when his vehicle was struck by a tow truck. The impact of the collision caused Sergeant O’Reilly to be ejected from his vehicle. He was rushed to Illinois Masonic Medical Center where he later succumbed to his injuries.The tow truck driver was cited for driving too fast for weather conditions. Sergeant O’Reilly’s funeral mass was held at St. Ignatius Church and he was laid to rest in Calvary Cemetery. He is survived by his wife, Bethany; children Karl, Thomas, Therese, Michael, Philip Jr., and Elizabeth.
Name: Perez, Benjamin Star: 12225 Memorial Panel #: 16 Rank: Police Officer District / Unit: 010 District End of Watch: 18 September 2002 Incident Details: Police Officer Benjamin Perez, 32, was a 4-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 10th District. On September 18, 2002, Officer Benjamin Perez and his partner, Officer Ron Zuniga, received information about a narcotics transaction occurring near the Burlington Northern-Sante Fe railroad tracks, located in the 2100 block of South Spaulding Avenue. The officers climbed over a train embankment and were conducting surveillance from a railroad trestle. As they watched for illegal activity, a Metra commuter train traveling at a high rate of speed was headed in their direction. Although both officers were able to get off the tracks, Officer Perez was pulled underneath the wheels by the forceful winds the train created. His funeral mass was held at St. Daniel the Prophet Church and he was laid to rest in Resurrection Cemetery. He is survived by his wife, Michele; children, Katarina, Benjamin, and Rebecca; parents, Angel and Catalina; and siblings, Guillermina, Jose, Hermelinda, Andrea and Elena.
Name: Marquez, Donald J. Star: 8620 Memorial Panel #: 24 Rank: Patrolman District / Unit: Corporation counsel Detail End of Watch: 18 March 2002 Incident Details: Police Officer Donald Marquez, 47, was a 20-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the Corporation Counsel Detail. On March 18, 2002, Officer Marquez attempted to serve a man living on the 2400 block of North Avers Avenue with an arrest warrant for housing violations. After many failed attempts, Officer Marquez along with other officers battered down the front door of the apartment. As the door fell to the ground, Henry Wolk opened fire and shot Officer Marquez with a .22 mm pistol. Wolk engaged officers in a shoot-out which blocked them from reaching and rescuing Marquez. Officers were able to reach the fallen officer and pull him aside – allowing the other officers to fatally wound Wolk. Tragically, Officer Marquez succumbed to his injuries. Officer Marquez’s funeral mass was held at The Moody Church and he was laid to rest in Resurrection Cemetery. He is survived by his wife, Maria; children, Maria, Carla, Alana, and Donald Jr.; grandchildren; parents, Daniel and Mary; siblings, Daniel, David, Donna, Dee, and Dean.
Name: Silva, Hector A. Star: 1760 Memorial Panel #: 7 Rank: Sergeant District / Unit: Special Operations Section End of Watch: 02 October 2001 Incident Details: Sergeant Hector Silva, 36, was an 11-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the Special Operations Section. On September 30, 2001, Sergeant Hector Silva participated in a special operations physical agility test. After completing the exercise, Sergeant Silva began to complain of having a pain in his head and feeling dizzy. He was transported to Mount Sinai Hospital where he had surgery to remove a blood clot from his brain. Tragically, Sergeant Silva died from a cerebral hemorrhage on October 2, 2001. Officer Silva’s funeral mass was held at Immaculate Conception Church and he was laid to rest in Maryhill Cemetery. He is survived by his wife, Victoria; children, Antonia and Miranda; parents, Anastacio and Carmen; and his siblings, Chely and Edwin (CPD).
Name: Lee, Eric D. Star: 16947 Memorial Panel #: 12 Rank: Police Officer District / Unit: 007 District End of Watch: 19 August 2001 Incident Details: Police Officer Eric Lee, 37, was a 9-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 007 District-Tactical Unit. On August 19, 2001, Officer Lee and two additional officers from the Englewood District Tactical Unit were conducting drug surveillance from their squad car when they heard a disturbance coming from a nearby alley. The plain clothes officers had their badges hanging from a chain around their necks when they exited their vehicle and ran into an alley in the 6300 block of South Carpenter Street. The officers witnessed three men who were assaulting another man and yelled “Police!” The offenders scattered, two of them producing weapons and the officers pursued them. As Officer Lee and his partner chased one of men, Aloysius Oliver, he reappeared in front of the officers brandishing and a gun and opening fire on Officer Lee. Officer Lee’s partner disarmed and arrested Oliver. Officer Lee succumbed to his injuries shortly after arriving to Christ Hospital. In 2004, Aloysius Oliver, an ex-convict, was charged with first-degree murder. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Officer Lee’s funeral mass was held at Salem Baptist Church and he was laid to rest in Resurrection Cemetery. He is survived by his wife, Shawn; daughter, Erica; and his parents, Bobby and Anna.
Name: Strouse, Brian T. Star: 15806 Memorial Panel #: 12 Rank: Police Officer District / Unit: 012 District End of Watch: 30 June 2001 Incident Details: Police Officer Brian Strouse, 33, was a 6-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 012 District Tactical Unit On June 30, 2001, Officer Strouse and two other tactical officers were conducting gang surveillance in the Pilsen neighborhood. The officers were staking out an alley on 18th Place between Loomis and Throop Streets that was the dividing line for two rival gangs and the site of frequent gang wars. At approximately 2 a.m., Officer Strouse was at his post alone, when gunfire rang out. The officer shouted to Hector Delgado, 16, “Police, drop your gun!” Immediately, Delgado opened fire on the officer twice — first shooting him in his chest where he was protected by his bullet proof vest and then striking him in the head. Officer Strouse’s partners heard the gunfire and discovered the officer bleeding and crouched behind a van. The brave officer was rushed to Cook County Hospital where he died at 9:10 a.m. Hector Delgado was found guilty of first-degree murder. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Officer and U.S. Marine Strouse’s funeral was held at Edgebrook Lutheran Church and he was laid to rest in Mt. Emblem Cemetery. He is survived by his parents, Paul and Ann Marie; sisters, Cindy, Paula, and Kathy (CPD)
Name: Stoffregen, Alane M. Star: 1203 Memorial Panel #: 11 Rank: Sergeant District / Unit: Marine Unit End of Watch: 02 June 2000 Incident Details: Sergeant Alane Stoffregen, 50, was a 22-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the Marine Unit. On June 2, 2000, Sergeant Stoffregen was participating in a “search-and-rescue” training mission about a mile away from the Lake Michigan shore. Sgt. Stoffregen had completed a 35-minute diving practice session and signaled to her diving partner that she was going to return to the boat. When she reached the water’s surface, she was met by crushing, three-foot waves. As she attempted to reach the Chicago Marine boat, her efforts and those of the officer onboard were impeded by the force of the waves. A second Marine Unit boat responded and assisted in her rescue. The officers immediately rushed her to a waiting ambulance. She was transported to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where she died an hour later. Doctors concluded that panic, fatigue, and exhaustion attributed to Sergeant Stoffregen’s accidental drowning. Sergeant Stoffregen’s funeral mass was held at St. Nicholas of Tolentine Catholic Church. She is survived by her mother, Agnes; five brothers: Kenneth, Gale, Ronald, Timothy and James and a sister, MaryBeth.
Name: Smetana, Myles Star: 14658 Memorial Panel #: 8 Rank: Patrolman District / Unit: 020 District End of Watch: 16 September 1999 Incident Details: Officer Myles Smetana, 46, was a 20-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 020 District. On August 24, 1999, Officer Smetana and his partner were dispatched to a disturbance involving an irate, mentally ill man. The officers helped the man regain his composure and Officer Smetana offered him the business card of a social services provider. After the incident, Officer Smetana began to feel sick, weak and dizzy. He was transported to a nearby hospital where he lapsed into a coma until his death on September 16, 1999. Doctors later determined that the officer had suffered a heart attack during the incident. Officer Smetana is survived by his wife, Kathy; and children, Erin, Kaitlyn and Zachary.