Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 16 years, 6 months, 15 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: District 12, 31st Precinct - Austin
District of Incident (Present Day): 015 - Austin
Cause of Death: Struck - By Train
Age at Time of Death: 55
Date of Birth: 06 Feb 1855
Date of Appointment: 01 Feb 1894
Date of Incident: 16 Aug 1910
End of Watch: 16 Aug 1910
Date of Interment: 18 Aug 1910
Cemetery: Mount Carmel Cemetery - Hillside, Illinois
Grave Location: Grave 3, Lot N13, Block 9, Section N
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # B-2
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 6
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 1, Line 39
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 55-E: 11
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: No Military Record Found
Incident & Biographic Details
Patrolman Edward G. Shea, Star #3399, aged 55 years, was a 16 year, 6 month, 15 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to District 12, 31st Precinct – Austin.
On August 16, 1910, Officer Shea was on duty and assigned to guard at the Austin Boulevard “EL“ crossing on the Oak Park Line of the Chicago & Oak Park Elevated Rail Line (present day CTA Green Line). He had been filling in for the regular officer who was badly injured in a collision with a train at the same crossing. The train crossed at grade at this particular crossing and was particularly dangerous.
At 7:15 a.m., Officer Shea while directing traffic observed a train approaching on the Eastbound track. Shea stepped onto the Westbound tracks, to supposed safety, to avoid the approaching train. Without warning the train, traveling at a high rate of speed, switched tracks onto the Westbound track. Officer Shea was then struck by the approaching train, which was traveling east on the Westbound track. When the train struck him, his service revolver discharged and he was shot in the hip. The train then dragged him more than 75 feet and was dead by the time help arrived.
Officer Shea was detailed to the crossing two weeks earlier after another officer was struck and seriously injured by another train while guarding the same crossing.
Officer Shea was waked at 8011 South Walnut Street (present day Maplewood Avenue). His funeral mass was held in Requiem at St. Matthew Catholic Church located at 3040 West Walnut Street. He was laid to rest on August 18, 1910 in Mount Carmel Cemetery, 1400 South Wolf Road, Hillside, Illinois. His grave is located in Grave 3, Lot N13, Block 9, Section N.
Patrolman Edward G. Shea, born February 6, 1855, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on February 1, 1894.
Officer Shea was a member of the Chicago Policemen’s Benevolent & Welfare Association. He was survived by his wife, Rose (nee McGowan); children: George Walter and Myrtle and siblings: Daniel and Frank.
Chicago Police Department homicide file not found for this incident.
On October 14, 1910, Officer Shea’s star was retired by General Superintendent LeRoy T. Steward and enshrined in the Superintendent’s Honored Star Case, City Hall, 121 North LaSalle Street, Room 505, Office of the Superintendent of Police. Officer Shea’s star was one of fourteen stars added to the newly instituted memorial to preserve the memory of officers killed in the line of duty. The tradition of retiring a star number was born. In 1928, the star case was moved to the 4th floor Office of the Superintendent at Chicago Police Headquarters, 1121 South State Street. The Honored Star Case was later relocated to the lobby of Chicago Police Headquarters, 1121 South State Street. In 2000, Chicago Police Headquarters again moved to a new facility at 3510 South Michigan Avenue, Officer Shea’s Star was re-encased in the new headquarters building lobby.