Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 1 year, 3 months, 10 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: 22nd District - Maxwell
District of Incident (Present Day): 012 - Near West
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 33
Date of Birth: 21 Oct 1923
Date of Appointment: 26 Aug 1955
Date of Incident: 06 Dec 1956
End of Watch: 06 Dec 1956
Date of Interment: 11 Dec 1956
Cemetery: Elmhurst Cemetery - Joliet, Illinois
Grave Location: Unknown
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # D-3
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 9
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 3, Line 2
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 25-E: 15
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: U.S. Navy
Incident & Biographic Details
Patrolman Osbourne Sims, Star #4848, aged 33 years, was a 1 year, 3 month, 10 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 22nd District – Maxwell.
On December 6, 1956, Officer Sims and his partner, Patrolman Donald Burns were on patrol when they responded to a call of a burglary in progress at 702 South Ada Street. The burglary was reported by a neighbor, Nick Riccio. Riccio had run outside and seized one of the burglars, Hector Garcia, alias Hector Bermudez, at 1337 West Flournoy Street. He held him there until police arrived on scene. Suddenly, when the two officers arrived on scene, Garcia broke loose and fled on foot into an area way. The officers split up to enter the area way from opposite directions in an attempt to trap Garcia. Officer Sims, after capturing the other burglar at 1445 West Lexington Street, called out for Hector Garcia to halt as he started to flee again. Garcia stopped momentarily, turned, and fired at Patrolman Sims striking him two times. Patrolman Sims was shot in the chest and died at the scene. The second burglar fled during the shooting as well as Garcia.
Officer Burns, at the time, said he heard a shot and found Officer Sims laying on the pavement with a bullet wound in his chest. Officer Burns radioed for help and several backup officers responded within minutes. Garcia fled into a building at 1445 West Lexington Street and threatened the occupants with a gun. A search of the area was conducted and after Garcia was spotted crouching in the basement of the building he barricaded himself in. Tear gas bombs were shot into the cellar. Garcia was ordered to surrender and answered with gunfire. His answer was followed by 60 rounds of bullets from responding officers. A Detective marksmen brought Garcia down and he was killed in the exchange of gunfire.
Officer Sims was waked at Jackson Funeral Home. His funeral mass was held at St. Marks Episcopal Methodist Episcopal Church located at 348 South Jefferson Street, Joliet, Illinois. He was laid to rest on December 11, 1956 in Elmhurst Cemetery, 1212 East Washington Street, Joliet, Illinois.
Patrolman Osbourne Sims, born October 21, 1923, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on August 26, 1955.
Patrolman Sims served in the U.S. Navy, was a veteran of World War II and the Korean War and was Honorably Discharged. He was survived by his wife, Bertha; children: Charlene, Cynthia and Kenneth and step-daughter, Katherine. He was preceded in death by his parents: Lucius and Malissa (nee Thigden).
On December 31, 1957, Officer Sims’ star was retired by Commissioner Timothy J. O’Connor and enshrined in the Superintendent’s Honored Star Case, located in the 4th floor Office of the Superintendent at Chicago Police Headquarters, 1121 South State Street. The Honored Star Case was later relocated to the lobby of Chicago Police Headquarters, 1121 South State Street. In 2000, Chicago Police Headquarters moved to a new facility at 3510 South Michigan Avenue, Officer Sims’ Star was re-encased in the new headquarters building lobby.