Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 15 years, 7 months, 27 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: 45
Date of Birth: 17 Mar 1888
Date of Appointment: 12 Dec 1917
Date of Incident: 08 Aug 1933
End of Watch: 08 Aug 1933
Date of Interment: 12 Aug 1933
Cemetery: Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery - Chicago, Illinois
Grave Location: Lot 63, Block 6, Section O
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # C-4
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 3
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 2, Line 35
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 40-E: 7
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: No Military Record Found
Incident & Biographic Details
Patrolman Patrick J. Ryan, Star #4940, aged 45 years, was a 15 year, 7 month, 27 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 32nd District – Shakespeare.
On August 8, 1933, at 11:45 p.m., Officer Ryan in uniform with a half hour left in his tour entered the Kimball Tavern located at 3328 West Armitage Avenue. He had just sat down and ordered a sandwich when an intoxicated man, Peter “Piccolo” Pace, age 21, approached him and offered the officer wine. Pace and a companion had been drinking their own homemade wine at the tavern. When Patrolman Ryan politely declined, the Pace became enraged and threw the glass into Officer Ryan’s face. As Officer Ryan attempted to place him under arrest a struggle ensued and the offender fought to disarm Officer Ryan of his service revolver. Pace gained control of the revolver, drawing it from the holster, and fired the weapon twice striking Officer Ryan in the abdomen both times fatally wounding him. Officer Ryan fell to the floor and died moments later.
After shooting Officer Ryan, Pace turned the gun on the taverns patrons and threatened to shoot the tavern’s owner, Edward Bergman, if he tried to block his escape. Pace then fled the tavern with his companion. Officer Ryan’s gun was later recovered in a nearby alley. It was believed that Pace dropped the gun as he fled the scene.
Peter Pace was apprehended a short time later by Sergeant William Gormley. Pace was still intoxicated when he was arrested and gave a full confession during a cab ride back to the station. His account of what transpired was different than that of witnesses. Pace claimed that after he threw the wine at Office Ryan, Ryan drew his weapon and fired twice causing him to wrestle the gun away from Officer Ryan. No records reflect that more than two rounds were fired from the revolver. Pace stood trial and his self-defense arguments were not believed by the court. He was found guilty and on October 13, 1933, he was sentenced to 199 years in the Illinois Penitentiary at Joliet.
Officer Ryan was waked at Martin J. Behnke Funeral Home. He was laid to rest on August 12, 1933 in Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery, 2755 West 111th Street, Chicago, Illinois. His grave is located in Lot 63, Block 6, Section O.
Patrolman Patrick J. Ryan, born March 17, 1888, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on December 12, 1917.
Officer Ryan was survived by his wife, Helen (nee Walsh), age 39 and children: Adelaide, age 11, Helen, age 10, Jackie, age 7, John Martin, age 6, Michael Joseph, age 15, Mary Elizabeth, age 13, Mary Helen, age 20 and Mary Winifred, age 13.