P.O. James M. O'Connor #4573

Name: O’Connor, James M.
Star: 4573
Memorial Panel #: 24
Rank: Police Officer
District / Unit: 023 District
End of Watch: 16 September 1995
Incident Details: Police Officer James “Jimmy” O’Connor, 27, was a U.S. Marine and 15-month veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 023 District. On September 16, 1995, Officer O’ Connor was off-duty and in his car speaking to a woman outside of El Jardin restaurant, located at Clark and Roscoe Streets. As the woman stood beside Officer O’Connor’s car, a vehicle drove by and the passenger stole the woman’s purse. The car was being driven by Franklin Matthews, 22, and the passenger was a 14-year-old juvenile. Officer O’Connor pursued the suspect vehicle and blocked its path with his SUV near the 4100 block of Marine Drive. As the officer approached the offender’s vehicle, shots rang out and O’Connor was struck. Despite his injuries, he was able to return fire, striking Matthews twice. Matthews attempted to flee but crashed into a brick wall and died in his vehicle. Jimmy O’Connor succumbed to his wounds at the scene. The 14-year old was tried in Cook County Juvenile Court. Officer O’Connor’s funeral mass was held in Our Lady Mother of the Church and he was laid to rest in All Saints Cemetery. He is survived by his parents, Thomas and Louise; and brothers, Thomas, Daniel, and Tim.