Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 15 years, 6 months, 19 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: 6th District - Gresham
District of Incident (Present Day): 022 - Morgan Park
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 43
Date of Birth: 08 Apr 1927
Date of Appointment: 01 May 1955
Date of Incident: 04 Nov 1970
End of Watch: 20 Nov 1970
Date of Interment: 24 Nov 1970
Cemetery: St. Casimir Cemetery - Chicago, Illinois
Grave Location: Grave 103, Lot 16, Block 34, Section --
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # D-5
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 14
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 3, Line 23
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 63-E: 17
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: U.S. Army
Incident & Biographic Details
Patrolman Paul G. Thomas, Jr., Star #5620, aged 43 years, was a 15 year, 6 month, 19 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 6th District – Gresham.
On November 4, 1970, at 6:00 p.m., Officer Thomas was off duty visiting his parent’s newspaper distribution agency located at 556 West 103rd Street. Officer Thomas was in the front office with his mother, Stella, chatting. His father went to the bathroom located in the backroom of the news agency. A male black offender entered through the rear door and encountered Thomas, Sr. He displayed a .38 caliber blue steel revolver and announced a robbery. Hearing the voices coming from the backroom, Officer Thomas went to investigate. A struggle ensued between Officer Thomas’ father and the armed offender. Officer Thomas came upon the struggle and attempted to aide his father when a second offender entered the rear door. At this time the struggle continued and shots were fired. The offender had fired two to three shots and Officer Thomas fired three shots. Officer Thomas was shot in the lower left chest with the bullet exiting the lower right back. He was also shot in the ring finger of his right and in the right thigh six inches above the knee. The offenders then fled out the door they came in and fled east down the alley making good their escape. They were joined by a third offender, the lookout, as they fled. Help was summoned and Officer Thomas was transported to Roseland Community Hospital and was subsequently transferred to Presbyterian St. Luke Hospital. He underwent surgery and was admitted to the intensive care unit in fair condition. He remained in Presbyterian St. Luke Hospital and later developed an infection related to his injuries. The infection caused a high fever and internal bleeding leading to his death. He was pronounced dead by Dr. Siegert at 7:10 p.m. on November 20, 1970.
In 1972, Thomas’ father recognized the two men after their pictures appeared in a newspaper article. The men, Otis Haywood, age 17, of 3617 South Federal Street and Alphonso L. Newman, age 18, of 3615 South Federal Street, were arrested for the murder of a 22-year-old restaurant manager. On April 28, 1972, Mr. Thomas and his wife identified Alphonso Newman as the gunman during a police line-up conducted at the Criminal Courts Building. Mr. Thomas also identified Otis Haywood as Newman’s accomplice in the same lineup.
Alphonso Newman and Otis Haywood were charged with Murder and Aggravated Battery. On May 30, 1973, the case against Haywood was Nolle Prossed by Judge Strayhorn. On June 6, 1973, Newman was found not guilty by Judge Strayhorn.
Officer Thomas was waked at Leonard Funeral Home located at 10821 South Michigan Avenue. His funeral mass was held at St. Helena of the Cross Church located at 10115 South Parnell Avenue. He was laid to rest on November 24, 1970 in St. Casimir Cemetery, 4401 West 111th Street, Chicago, Illinois. His grave is located in Grave 103, Lot 16, Block 34, Section –.
Patrolman Paul G. Thomas, Jr., born April 8, 1927, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department in May 1, 1955. He earned 3 Complimentary Letters during his career.
Officer Thomas served in the U.S. Army from February 14, 1945 thru March 24, 1947 and was Honorably Discharged. He was survived by his wife, Barbara Julia (nee Saxinger); children: Connie, June, Paul, III and Tina; parents: Paul G., Sr. and Stella (nee Resk) and siblings: Diane and Ronald W.
Incident Recorded under Chicago Police Department RD #J475836.