Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 3 years, 1 month, 25 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: 30
Date of Birth: 26 May 1901
Date of Appointment: 15 Feb 1929
Date of Incident: 09 Apr 1932
End of Watch: 09 Apr 1932
Date of Interment: 14 Apr 1932
Cemetery: Holy Sepulchre Cemetery - Alsip, Illinois
Grave Location: Grave 2, Lot 26, Block 18, Section 9
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # C-3
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 16
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 2, Line 32
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 16-W: 11
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: No Military Record Found
Incident & Biographic Details
Patrolman Robert H. Granger, Star #5788, aged 30 years, was a 3 year, 1 month, 25 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 5th District – Wabash
On April 9, 1932, at approximately 10:35 p.m., Officer Granger and his partner Patrolman Alonzo Spaulding, were notified by a citizen, Judson Slappey, that an armed robbery was taking place at 5730 South Prairie Avenue. Slappey told the officers that the robber, William Mills, was attempting to recoup his losses in a craps game by robbing each of the players by gunpoint. Officers Granger and Spaulding relocated to the apartment of Clarence Harris located at 5730 South Prairie Avenue. When the officers entered the apartment building, at 10:40 p.m., they observed the apartment door to be open and observed Mills wielding a firearm robbing the participants of a card game. Officer Granger ordered Mills to drop his weapon just as he turned and opened fire on the officers. Officer Granger was struck and killed almost instantly collapsing to the floor. Officer Spaulding was also struck, but was able to return fire emptying his revolver at Mills as he retreated. Mills was struck in the shoulder as he retreated before he escaped.
William Mills did not remain at large for long before he was arrested by Lieutenant Al Booth. Mills was located at 5652 South Indiana Avenue with three gunshot wounds. On April 11, 1932, he was held by the Coroner for the murder of Officer Granger. Mills stood trial and was found guilty. On September 15, 1932, he was sentenced to life in the Illinois State Penitentiary at Joliet.
In a strange twist of events, a corollary to the case, Herbert Cross was visiting the girlfriend of Mills at 5740 South Prairie Avenue on the fateful evening. When Cross heard the gunshots that took Officer Granger’s life, not knowing what was going on down the street, he waited for a few minutes before he climbed out the window trying to escape before the trouble found him. At the same time Sergeant Thomas Casey was responding to the scene and observed Cross trying to get away. Sergeant Casey, thinking Cross was the killer trying to escape, ordered Cross to halt and then fired his revolver. Cross was struck and superficially wounded. Cross was questioned about his actions before he was released.
A third responding officer opened fire and struck Mills killing him. Officer Granger died at the scene from the gunshot wounds he sustained.
Officer Granger was laid to rest on April 14, 1932 in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, 6001 West 111th Street, Alsip, Illinois. His grave is located in Grave 2, Lot 26, Block 18, Section 9.
Patrolman Robert H. Granger, born May 26, 1901, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on February 15, 1929.
Officer Granger was survived by his wife, Marie.