Detective Oliver J. Singleton #2131

Name: Singleton, Oliver J.
Star: 2131
Memorial Panel #: #PANEL#
Rank: Detective
District / Unit: Criminal Intelligence Unit
End of Watch: 27 November 1969
Incident Details: Detective Oliver Singleton, 42, was a 16-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the Criminal Intelligence Unit. On January 24, 1969, Detective Singleton, along with officers from the Lincolnwood and Chicago Police Departments were conducting surveillance on the Bell and Howell Company on the 7100 block of McCormick Boulevard. The officers had received a tip that an armored truck robbery would occur at the location. The gang of four arrived at the location at 6:00 p.m., and waited in their vehicle for the truck to arrive. By 7:15 p.m., the truck had not arrived and the men attempted to leave. Officers blocked their vehicle in the driveway with their squad cars. One of the men, James Allen, 21, exited the getaway car and began firing at officers. Officers exchanged gun fire injuring Allen and fatally wounding his two accomplices — Larry Gibson, 23, and Tyrone Oby, 27. A fourth accomplice, Nathan Wright was waiting nearby in a getaway car. He was apprehended in his home. Detective Singleton was shot in the back and rushed to St. Francis Hospital. As a result of the shooting, the detective was paralyzed from the neck down and was confined to a hospital bed until his death on November 27, 1969. Nathan Wright, 25, was found guilty of murder, conspiracy to commit robbery, and attempted armed robbery and was sentenced to 75-150 years in prison. James Allen was found guilty of Detective Singleton’s murder and attempted armed robbery. He was sentenced to 100-200 years in prison. In 1983, he was granted parole. In 1984, he was charged with murdering three people and was found guilty. Allen escaped from Joliet Correctional Facility, but was quickly apprehended. He is ineligible for parole. Detective Singleton was survived by his wife and parents.