Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 5 years, 8 months, 7 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: 39th District - North Damen
District of Incident (Present Day): 019 - Town Hall
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 31
Date of Birth: 06 Apr 1907
Date of Appointment: 23 Dec 1932
Date of Incident: 21 Aug 1938
End of Watch: 30 Aug 1938
Date of Interment: 02 Sep 1938
Cemetery: Irving Park Cemetery - Chicago, Illinois
Grave Location: Grave 3, Lot NN7, Block 2, Section S
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # D-1
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 13
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 2, Line 41
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 18-E: 10
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: No Military Record Found
Incident & Biographic Details
Patrolman Patrick Edward O’Malley, Star #1346, aged 31 years, was a 5 year, 8 month, 7 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 39th District – North Damen.
On August 21, 1938, Officer O’Malley was off duty and in civilian clothes at Neely’s Cocktail Lounge at 2405 North Clark Street. The lounge was closed at the time and the front door locked. Officer O’Malley was inside waiting for a friend as he conversed with the owner, William Neely, Neely’s wife and their friend. Four armed offenders, George Hamer, Howard Poe, age 25, Ossie Townsend and Lucius “Red Light” Webb, entered through the back door and announce a robbery. Officer O’Malley moved away from Mrs. Neely and drew his revolver and opened fire on the robbers. The robbers returned fire, Townsend was struck and fell to the floor dying at the scene. Seeing this, the remaining three robbers fled the scene to a waiting vehicle with a fifth bandit, Henry “W. Nash” Napue, behind the wheel.
Patrolman Walter Frank was passing the lounge when he heard the gunfire and rushed to investigate. He found the front door locked and then made his way to the rear at the instruction of those inside. Officer Frank observed the three bandits getting into the car. As he drew his weapon one of the bandits fired at him and he returned fire. Firing three shots before the bandits sped away. Officer Frank then went inside the lounge and discovered Officer O’Malley bleeding. Officer O’Malley was struck in the chest, stomach and shoulder. Additional Officers arrived on scene and Officer O’Malley was taken to Chicago Hospital where he succumbed to his wounds nine days later on the morning of August 30, 1938.
Shortly after being taken to the hospital, a man with a gunshot wound was dropped off at a nearby doctor’s office. Through further investigation, it was learned that the man, George Hamer, was one of the shooters involved in the robbery and he was placed in custody. It wasn’t clear if Officer O’Malley or Frank had wounded the man in the gunfight. During question, Hamer confessed his part in the crime and named his accomplices.
Howard Poe and Lucius “Red Light” Webb were eventually apprehended. Poe stood trial and was found guilty and sentenced to death on August 1, 1938. On April 19, 1940, at 12:03 a.m., he was executed in the electric chair at Cook County Jail being pronounced dead at 12:10 a.m. Hamar stood trial and was found guilty and sentenced to 199 years. Hamer requested a new trial and was denied by Chief Justice Harold G. Ward on October 25, 1946. Webb stood trial and was found guilty and sentenced to 199 years. Webb was later released by Governor Stratton when he reduced his sentence to 57 years. Napue stood trial and was found guilty. Napue also requested a new trial and was granted one. The district attorney said there was not enough evidence to prosecute him and on March 8, 1960 he was released.
Officer O’Malley was waked at his residence located at 418 West Arlington Place. His funeral mass was held at St. Clement Catholic Church located at 642 West Deming Place. He was laid to rest on September 2, 1938 in Mount Carmel Cemetery, 1400 South Wolf Road, Hillside, Illinois. His grave is located in Grave 3, Lot NN7, Block 2, Section S.
Patrolman Patrick Edward O’Malley, born April 6, 1907, received his Probationary
Appointment to the Department on December 23, 1932. He earned 1 Credible Mention during his career.
Officer O’Malley was a member of the Chicago Policemen’s Benevolent & Welfare Association. He was survived by his parents: Anna F. (nee Flannigan) and John J.; siblings: Anne, Joseph, Mary Glascott, Rita, Thomas and William (CPD).