Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 8 years, 6 months, 18 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: 5th District - Wabash
District of Incident (Present Day): 002 - Wentworth
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 37
Date of Birth: 18 May 1892
Date of Appointment: 01 Apr 1921
Date of Incident: 19 Oct 1929
End of Watch: 19 Oct 1929
Date of Interment: 23 Oct 1929
Cemetery: Oak Ridge Cemetery - Springfield, Illinois
Grave Location: Unknown
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # C-1
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 14
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 2, Line 26
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 23-W: 5
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: No Military Record Found
Incident & Biographic Details
Patrolman George Frank Giovannoni, Star #1619, aged 37 years, was an 8 year, 6 month, 18 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 5th District – Wabash.
On October 19, 1929, at approximately 10:20 a.m., Officer Giovannoni, was off duty grocery shopping on his regular beat when he witnessed a shooting.
The chain of events began when Mrs. Irene Owens appeared in court at the Wabash Avenue station. She had gone there to swear out a complaint against Carey Love, alias James Love. Mrs. Owens testified that Love had attempted to kill her and a warrant was issued for his arrest to facilitate the investigation of her claims. After appearing in court she returned home to find Love inside her residence waiting. A few minutes later, police received a call from a third party stating that a man was trying to shoot a woman at 49th and Federal Streets.
Patrolmen James J. Best and William Walsh responded to the scene, which was less than two blocks from the police station, arriving in less than a minute. As the officer pulled up in their squad car, they observed Mrs. Owens fleeing from an armed Love. The officers immediately drew their weapons and fired at Love who returned fire. Officer Best was struck. Meanwhile, Officer Giovannoni saw the gunfight taking place, dropped his groceries, drew his weapon and ran to assist the uniformed officers. Officer Best paused to determine the extent of his injuries, Officer Giovannoni took up the pursuit and located the offender hiding in the backyard of 4821 South Federal Street and confronted him. Officer Best and Walsh were right behind him. A gunfight ensued, and Best, Walsh and a third officer, Patrolman Timothy Dwyer, arrived just in time to witness Officer Giovannoni’s fatal exchange of gunfire with Love. At 10:25 a.m., Giovannoni managed to corner Love at the edge of the yard and rather than surrender he continued to fire. Officer Giovannoni sustained four gunshot wounds; one in the jaw, one in the chest and two in the stomach. As he collapsed Giovannoni shot Love in the head killing him. The two fell to the ground and died side by side as Officer’s Best, Walsh and Dwyer watch helplessly. Officer Best later recovered from his gunshot wound.
Officer Giovannoni was waked at Piegare and Alfredo Funeral Home located at 923 South Blue Island Avenue, his funeral mass was also held at Piegare and Alfredo Funeral Home. He was laid to rest on October 23, 1929 in Oak Ridge Cemetery, 1441 Monument, Springfield, Illinois.
Patrolman George Frank Giovannoni, born May 18, 1892, received a Temporary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on August 5, 1919 prior to his Probationary Appointment to the Department on June 7, 1922.
Officer Giovannoni was a Master Mason and a member of Banner Blue Lodge No. 934 AF&AM. He was survived by his wife, Ada (nee Ross) and parents: Eisala (nee Gallia) and Peter.