Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 29 years, 8 months, 28 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: 32nd District - Shakespeare
District of Incident (Present Day): 014 - Shakespeare
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 60
Date of Birth: 15 Sep 1893
Date of Appointment: 09 May 1924
Date of Incident: 06 Feb 1954
End of Watch: 07 Feb 1954
Date of Interment: 10 Feb 1954
Cemetery: Queen of Heaven Cemetery - Hillside, Illinois
Grave Location: Grave 4, Lot 13, Block 9, Section 18E
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # D-3
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 15
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 2, Line 48
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 63-E: 8
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: U.S. Army
Incident & Biographic Details
Patrolman Jeremiah Cornelius Lucey, Star #1831, aged 60 years, was a 29 year, 8 month, 28 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 32nd District – Shakespeare.
On February 6, 1954, Officer Lucey and his partner, Patrolman Roman Charles Steinke, age 42, attempted to serve an arrest warrant for assault with a deadly weapon on James Lee-Fong, owner of a Chinese laundry located at 2705 West Diversey Parkway. Officers Lucey and Steinke entered the laundry with Stephen Malenk, Sr., age 40 of 2619 North California Avenue, who pointed out Lee-Fong, who was alone, as the man who had assaulted him. After being identified, Lee-Fong admitted to slapping the boy. Officer Lucey stated to Lee-Fong “I have warrants for your arrest; you’ll have to come to the station.“ Lee asked permission to get his hat and coat in a rear room. Lee-Fong re-appeared a moment later and opened fire with a .38 caliber rifle. Shooting at both the officers and the Malenks, Lee-Fong continued to fire. Mr. Malenks, Sr. was struck first in the chest and upper arm. Officer Lucey was struck in the chest and Officer Steinke struck in several place including his wrist. The officers returned fire and Steinke was able to strike Lee-Fong in the head wounding him. Lee-Fong then fled to the back of the shop. At this time the officers and Malenks exited the shop to the sidewalk in front. Captain Thomas McLaughlin of the Shakespeare station, Supervising Captain Robert E. Ryan and several police squads responded to the laundry a few minutes later.
As the responding officers began arriving on scene they were able to get the wounded medical attention. While Lee-Fong was in the back of the shop he obtained another weapon, a .16 gauge shotgun, and began to shoot at the responding officers as they entered the shop. By this time Lee-Fong had barricaded himself in the laundry and held the 150 responding policemen at bay for 30 minutes. Detectives fired several shots into the store and then surrounded it. When the firing from Lee-Fong stopped, Detectives Edward Cagney and Joseph Corcoran battered down a back door and overpowered Lee as he lay on the floor reaching for a revolver.
Officer Steinkie would later give this account, “When he opened fire, I was knocked down. I crawled out the door and then fired three shots at the gunman. Then I passed out on the sidewalk.“ Officer Lucey had staggered into a grocery next door and collapsed. Malenk ran to a home of a neighbor in the building in which he lived and called police.
Officer Lucey was shot through the liver. He was transported to Alexian Brothers Hospital and was pronounced dead the following day on February 7, 1954. Officer Steinke was shot five times: in each hand, neck, right shoulder and abdomen. He was transported to St. Elizabeth Hospital and was pronounced dead seven days later at 5:55 a.m. on February 13, 1954. Mr. Malenk, Sr. was shot in the chest and right upper arm; he later recovered at Augustina Hospital. Lee was shot two times in the head and died from his wounds April 27, 1954 at Cook County Hospital.
Police were unable to question Lee-Fong at the time of the shooting because of his wounds, but he would later claim that he did not know Steinke and Lucey were police officers but instead thought the plain clothes officers had come into his shop to beat him. The course of events began on February 3, 1954 when Mr. Malenk, Sr. said, “Lee-Fong slapped his son Stephen Malenk, Jr., age 11, in the face after chasing him and another boy for peering thru his store window.“ Lee-Fong also clubbed Malenk, Sr. with a metal pipe, breaking his left arm, and broke two windows in his automobile when he went back to the store with his son to complain. It was at that point Mr. Malenk alerted police and sought a warrant against Lee-Fong at the Shakespeare Avenue court.
Officer Lucey was waked at Conboy Funeral Home located at 4817 West Madison Street. His funeral mass was held at Resurrection Church located at 7201 South Carpenter Street. He was laid to rest on February 10, 1954 in Queen of Heaven Cemetery, 1400 South Wolf Road, Hillside, Illinois. His grave is located in Grave 4, Lot 13, Block 9, Section 18E.
Patrolman Jeremiah Cornelius Lucey, born September 15, 1893, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on May 9, 1924. He earned 1 Credible Mention and 1 Extra Compensation for Meritorious Conduct totaling $300.00 during his career.
Officer Lucey served in the U.S. Army from May 3, 1918 thru November 18, 1918 in Company 1, Dev. Battalion 1, was a veteran of World War I and was Honorably Discharged at the rank of Private. He was also a member of the Chicago Patrolman’s Club, Chicago Policemen’s Benevolent & Welfare Association, Holy Name Society and St. Jude Police League. Officer Lucey was survived by his wife, Mary “Molly” (nee O’Brien); children: Gerald P., age 19 and Maureen S., age 11 and brothers: Cornelius and Timothy. He was preceded in death by his parents: Cornelius and Julia (nee Kelleher).