Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 9 years, 8 months, 4 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: 7th District - Englewood
District of Incident (Present Day): 007 - Englewood
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 37
Date of Birth: 11 Oct 1963
Date of Appointment: 16 Dec 1991
Date of Incident: 19 Aug 2001
End of Watch: 19 Aug 2001
Date of Interment: 24 Aug 2001
Cemetery: Oak Woods Cemetery - Chicago, Illinois
Grave Location: Unknown
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # D-8
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 12
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 4, Line 32
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 5-E: 22
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: U.S. Marine Corps
Incident & Biographic Details
Patrolman Eric Dwayne Lee, Star #16947, aged 37 years, was a 9 year, 8 month, 4 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 7th District - Englewood Tactical Unit.
On August 19, 2001, at 9:15 p.m., Officer Lee and his partner, Patrolman Andre Green, age 38, were on duty. They received a call from three narcotics officer requesting assistance for drug surveillance. The officers met up in an alley on the 6300 block of South Carpenter Street. While in the alley, Officer Green observed a fight-taking place at the north end of the alley. He alerted his partner and the officers along with Patrolman Vince Barner, of narcotics, began to walk towards the disturbance.
The fight began when Lamar Logan relieved himself on a garbage can behind the home of Aloysius Oliver, age 26. Oliver, a gang member and convicted felon, confronted Logan with his cohorts, Tommie Leach, age 24, and a third man. They began to kick Logan as he lay on the ground. The officers, dressed in civilian clothing with their badges hanging from a chain around their necks, approached the two men. The officers yelled “Police,“ at three men who were beating Logan and as they approached one of Oliver’s accomplices looked up and said the cops are coming. Oliver replied, “Fuck the cops.” Oliver’s accomplices began making their case to the officers about why they were beating Logan. Oliver wasn’t talking and was standing there with one hand in his pocket. Officer Barner noticed this and said, “Hey man, take your hand out of your pocket.” Oliver removed his hand from his pocket and produced a .357 caliber Ruger GP-100 revolver. Almost instantaneously the men scattered and Oliver and Leach fled on foot Eastbound into a gangway. Officer Barner immediately took off and ran through a gangway immediately to his right, thinking he would cut them off in at the next alley. Officers Lee and Green ran for cover behind one of the garages. Shocked at what just occurred Officers Lee and Green regrouped and stepped into the alley again in search of Oliver. Shortly thereafter Oliver stepped back into the alley. He had been waiting behind the garage. Oliver raised his gun and fired twice at the officers. Officer Lee was struck twice; one round striking him in his right temple and the other grazing his ear. He then collapsed face down onto the pavement mortally wounded.
Oliver then fled Eastbound on foot after firing through a gangway. As the shooting was taking place, Officer Barner had located Leach and confronted him in a gangway. Leach produced a gun and pointed it at Officer Barner and fled Eastbound again on foot. Hearing the Oliver’s gunfire, Officer Leach turned and almost instantly Oliver was within one arms length with his gun raised. The two men struggled and Oliver's gun discharged but the shot did not hit anyone. Officer Barner was able to take Oliver into custody shortly after without further incident. An ambulance was summoned and Officer Lee was rushed to Christ Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries shortly after arriving.
Oliver’s .357 caliber Ruger GP-100 revolver was recovered. Further investigation revealed the guns serial number to match one that was reported stolen. On March 7, 2001, Matthew Everts, age 32, of Merton Wisconsin reported the gun stolen from his home. Everts told police he noticed the gun missing from a closet on February 15th. He believed the revolver was taken between January 1st and February 15th.
Several suspects were apprehended and held for questioning. Tommie Leach was eventually identified and arrested. He was charged with Aggravated Assault and held on a $150,000.00 bond. The shooter, Aloysius Oliver, was charged with 1st degree murder. Oliver gave a videotaped confession saying he decided to beat up the man because in the alley because he was urinating on his fence. Oliver also said he told his girlfriend to send out two friends to help attack the man. However, other witnesses told police the actual motive was that Oliver believed the man stole Oliver's pit bull from his back yard. On January 23, 2004, Oliver was found guilty of 1st degree murder. Oliver had previously been convicted of robbery and aggravated battery in 1993, and of possession of a firearm by a felon in 1998. During the shooting, Oliver was on parole for his 1998 conviction. On September 17, 2004, he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. On November 22, 2005, following many continuances, the Cook County Criminal Court judge denied Oliver's motions for a new trial.
Officer Lee was waked at Leak & Sons Funeral Home located at 7838 South Cottage Grove Avenue and his funeral mass was held at Salem Baptist Church. He was laid to rest on August 24, 2001 in Oak Woods Cemetery, 1035 East 67th Street, Chicago, Illinois.
Police Officer Eric Dwayne Lee, born October 11, 1963, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on December 16, 1991. He earned 20 Honorable Mentions during his career.
Officer Lee served in the U.S. Marine Corps for four years and was Honorably Discharged at the rank of Corporal. He was also a member of the Fraternal Order of Police. Officer Lee was survived by his wife, Shawn S. (nee Tinnelle); daughter, Erica, age 6; parents: Anna (nee Bates) and Bobby and siblings: Mark, Michelle (Damien) and Steven.
Incident Recorded under Chicago Police Department RD #G495183.
On November 20, 2001, Officer Lee's star was retired by Superintendent Terry G. Hillard and enshrined in the Superintendent's Honored Star Case, located in the lobby at Chicago Police Headquarters, 1121 South State Street. In 2000, Chicago Police Headquarters moved to a new facility at 3510 South Michigan Avenue, Officer Lee's Star was re-encased in the new headquarters building lobby. Patrolman James H. Camp's star was the last star to be enshrined in the Chicago Police Headquarters building located at 1121 South State Street.