Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 1 year, 3 months, 19 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: 3rd District - Grand Crossing
District of Incident (Present Day): 003 - Grand Crossing
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 31
Date of Birth: 21 Oct 1939
Date of Appointment: 01 Dec 1969
Date of Incident: 20 Mar 1971
End of Watch: 20 Mar 1971
Date of Interment: 25 Mar 1971
Cemetery: Unknown Cemetery
Grave Location: Unknown
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case:
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 17
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall:
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall:
Officer Down Memorial Page: Not Listed
Military Service: No Military Record Found
Incident & Biographic Details
Patrolman Richard Gilmore, Star #14290, aged 31 years, was a 1 year, 3 month, 19 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 3rd District – Grand Crossing Tactical Unit.
On March 20, 1971, at 1:00 a.m., Officer Gilmore was off duty and attending a house party at Mr. Arthur King’s home located at 8506 South Laflin Street. Shortly before 1:00 a.m. there was a knock at the rear door to the basement. Mrs. Glenda King answered the door and a man dressed in a dark coat asked if a friend of his was inside. Mrs. King let the man inside and told him that nobody by the name he gave her was inside. The man thanked her and turned to leave, but instead opened the door and let three other men inside. One of the men fired a round from a shotgun as they announced a holdup. Another man pulled out a pistol and ordered the people inside, about twenty of them, to lie down on the floor. The man with the shotgun screamed, “If anyone has a gun, i’m going to kill him.“ Officer Gilmore, who was still seated at the table, drew his service revolver and the man with the shotgun fired at him, hitting him in the neck as Officer Gilmore’s wife watched.
Two women guests who were upstairs during the time of the first shotgun blast fled the house and ran to South Justine Avenue. They later said that they saw a small blue car parked with one man inside and jumped inside. The man inside identified himself as “Ike,“ and told them they could sit inside the car with him. However, once they got inside, the women saw the four men with guns run up to the car and they fled from the car. The men jumped in and as the car drove away fired one shot at the women as they fled down an alley.
It was later determined that the four men who jumped in the car were the armed robbers who had just shot Officer Gilmore. They fled the basement after robbing the occupants and took Officer Gilmore’s revolver before fleeing. Officer Gilmore was rushed to Little Company of Mary Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Four of the five men were later identified in a lineup by fifteen of the witnesses. The four men were identified as Isaac Gray, age 32, Tyrone Sawyer, age 24, Robert Smith, age 17 and Ford Ransom, age 30. The men were charged with murder and armed robbery. Isaac Gray surrendered himself to police on March 20, 1971 claiming he had been abducted by the four armed men as he sat in his car at 85th and Justine Streets. Officer Gilmore’s revolver was found inside Gray’s car and blood stains were found on his clothing. Gray said the men forced him to drive around the South Side and forced him to drop the men off at different locations. Gray then went to the home of Miss Anne Lee Bailey, who stated that Gray came over to her house and left three guns, a .32 and .38 caliber revolver and a .25 caliber automatic on the table. The fifth man was later arrested and identified as Divine Kelly, 19.
Officer Gilmore was waked at A. R. Leak Funeral Home located at 7838 South Cottage Grove Avenue. He was laid to rest on March 25, 1971.
Patrolman Richard Gilmore, born October 21, 1939, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on December 1, 1969.
Officer Gilmore was survived by his wife; children: Keli Lyn, age 2, Kevin, age 5, Kimberly, age 6 and Joan, age 2; parents: Daisy and Luther and siblings: Barney, Betty Stafford and Floyd.