The City of Chicago has lost a true hero. It is with a heavy heart that we report that Officer Bernie Domagala passed away after suffering for twenty-nine years from the devastating injuries he sustained when shot while he was on duty on July 14, 1988. Bernie was the father of three boys, Erik, Craig and Adam, and husband to Denise. Despite the many challenges his life held for him since being injured, he never lost his love for the two most important things in his life: his family and the Chicago Police Department.
Born and raised in Chicago, it was always Bernie’s professional dream to become a Chicago Police officer. Six years after taking the test, his dream came true, and in 1981 he proudly became PO Bernard W. Domagala, Star #8996. It was one of the two most important things in his life. The other was his family. He loved his job as he knew he would, and always said “every day is something different, a new challenge.” While on the job two challenges he enjoyed were being assigned to the Gang Crimes South Unit and becoming a member of the Hostage, Barricade, and Terrorist Unit (HBT).
Shortly before his shift was over on the afternoon of July 14th 1988, Bernie responded to a hostage situation at 7237 S. Stony Island Avenue. Officers surrounded the property, and Bernie had taken a defensive position at the corner of the garage. He looked around the corner at the house, and in that split second the offender shot his gun hitting Bernie above his eye in the forehead. He was transported to Michael Reese Hospital where he underwent 6 hours of surgery to remove a bullet from his brain. Bernie was 37 years old at the time, with a young family of three sons: Erik was 4, and twins Craig and Adam were 4 months old.
Through it all, and thanks to the constant love and support from Denise, Erik, Craig and Adam, Bernie never lost his smile. We will remember him as a true hero. We will NEVER FORGET Chicago Police Officer Bernie Domagala.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Domagala Family during this time.