P.O. Richard J. O'Brien #5337

Name: O’Brien, Richard J.
Star: 5337
Memorial Panel #: 10
Rank: Police Officer
District / Unit: Gang Crimes Enforcement
End of Watch: 09 February 1982
Incident Details: Police Officer Richard J. O’Brien, 33, was 9-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the Gang Crimes Enforcement Division. On the morning of February 9, 1982, Officer O’Brien and his partner, William P. Fahey, were murdered during a traffic stop. The partners pulled over two male offenders driving an Impala near 81st and Morgan Streets for failing to obey a stop sign. The driver was Jackie Wilson and the passenger was his brother, Andrew Wilson. According to eyewitness testimony, the driver, Jackie, exited the vehicle without being asked and became hostile. He began arguing with Officer O’Brien and refused to provide his drivers license. Officer Fahey approached the passenger door and had Andrew Wilson exit the vehicle after noticing a suspicious object. During testimony the eyewitness stated, “The police officer [Fahey] had subdued him enough to the point where he could put the handcuffs on and then the man [Andrew] reached around behind the officer and came up with a shiny pistol.” Andrew Wilson, then shot both officers. Jackie noticed Officer O’Brien was moving and shouted to Andrew, “still up and about.” Andrew then jumped on the vehicle’s trunk and shot Officer O’Brien two more times. In 1983, Andrew Wilson was sentenced to death and Jackie was sentenced to life in prison without parole. They were later granted retrials on the grounds that they should have been initially tried separately. During the retrial, Jackie Wilson was convicted of first degree murder in Officer O’Brien’s death, but was acquitted of his part in Officer Fahey’s murder. Andrew Wilson was convicted of two counts of murder and two counts of armed robbery in the deaths of the officers. Both men were sentenced to life in prison without parole. Andrew Wilson died in prison in 2007. Officer O’Brien’s funeral mass was held at St. Denis Catholic Church and the procession to Holy Sepulchre Cemetery was a mile long. He is survived by his mother and his siblings, John, Susan, Michael and Nancy. Related Line of Duty Death: P.O. William P. Fahey