Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 10 years, 2 months, 24 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: 6th District - Gresham
District of Incident (Present Day): 007 - Englewood
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 32
Date of Birth: 26 Oct 1944
Date of Appointment: 20 Jun 1966
Date of Incident: 13 Sep 1976
End of Watch: 13 Sep 1976
Date of Interment: 17 Sep 1976
Cemetery: Holy Sepulchre Cemetery - Alsip, Illinois
Grave Location: Grave 1, Lot 20, Block 9, Section 24
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # D-6
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 22
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 3, Line 31
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 25-E: 11
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: U.S. Army
Incident & Biographic Details
Patrolman Patrick Joseph Crowley, Star #3614, aged 32 years, was a 10 year, 2 month, 24 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 6th District - Gresham Tactical Unit.
On September 13, 1976, at 8:03 p.m., Officer Crowley was on duty working beat 665 with his partners, Patrolmen James P. McKeon, Jr. and James Duignan. The officers were conducting narcotics surveillance on a residence located at 6243 South Aberdeen Street. The officers observed a male attempt to sell a stereo set for “a spoon“ of heroin while they crouched behind a fence in the alley. When the male was offered less than he wanted for the stereo he told the drug dealer that he would have to talk it over with a friend and left. The officers arrested the man and instructed him to go back and accept the offer. The man, now an informant, returned and this time was successful. Officer Duignan who was close by observed the transaction and sent the signal to his partners to move in. The informant made the deal and stepped away from the door. Officer Crowley ran through the rear gate followed by Officer McKeon. As Officer Crowley ran up the stairs shouting “police“ he reached the porch, Willie C. Lewis, age 33, of 6822 South Elizabeth Street, fired four shots from inside the doorway. Officer Crowley was hit in the left eye. Officer McKeon returned fire two times into the doorway but did not hit the offender. Officer Crowley was taken to St. Bernards Hospital by sqaudrol 770 and was pronounced dead on arrival by Dr. Qayyum at 8:15 p.m. on September 13, 1976.
The informant fled the scene once the shooting began, but it was believed that he was not complicit in the shooting. Two occupants of the apartment were held for questioning and later released. A .22 caliber pistol and a 41 magnum pistol were recovered from the apartment along with several vials of heroin. It was believed that Officer Crowley was shot with the 41 magnum.
On September 13, 1976, at 8:20 p.m., Willie C. Lewis was arrested. He was charged with murder and two counts of attempt murder. On September 14, 1976, he was held to the Grand Jury which returned a true bill. He stood trial and was subsequently convicted of Officer Crowley’s murder. Lewis was sentenced to 500 to 1,000 years in prison. Lewis was sentenced to the first 4 digit prison sentence ever delivered in Cook County history. In 2008 Lewis became eligible for parole. On July 10, 2008, a hearing was held in Springfield, Illinois and parole was denied. In January 2020, Lewis died while incarcerated
Officer Crowley was waked at Sheehy Funeral Home located at 9000 151st Street, Orland Park, Illinois and his funeral mass was held at St. Adrian Church located at 7000 South Fairfield Avenue. He was laid to rest on September 17, 1976 in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, 6001 West 111th Street, Alsip, Illinois. His grave is located in Grave 6, Lot 14, Block 44, Section 49. His grave was later relocated to Grave 1, Lot 20, Block 9, Section 24.
Patrolman Patrick Joseph Crowley, born October 26, 1944, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on June 20, 1966. He earned 3 Department Commendations and 228 Honorable Mentions during his career. He had also left the police department for a short time and became a firefighter, but later returned to the police department.
Officer Crowley served in the U.S. Army from August 12, 1965 thru April 19, 1966, was a veteran of the Vietnam War and was Honorably Discharged at the rank of Private. He was survived by his wife, Joanna L. (nee Polo), age 33; and mother, Johanna M. (nee Sullivan). He was preceded in death by his father, Cornelius. Tragically, Mrs. Crowley was previously engaged to Patrolman Thomas Kelly, who was also killed in the line of duty three weeks before their wedding date in March of 1970.
Incident Recorded under Chicago Police Department RD #X353059 and X354801.