Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 12 years, 3 months, 14 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: 5th District - South Wabash
District of Incident (Present Day): 002 - Wentworth
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 38
Date of Birth: 13 Oct 1895
Date of Appointment: 08 Jun 1922
Date of Incident: 22 Sep 1934
End of Watch: 22 Sep 1934
Date of Interment: 26 Sep 1934
Cemetery: Holy Sepulchre Cemetery - Alsip, Illinois
Grave Location: Grave 2, Lot 105, Block 14, Section 28
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # C-5
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 24
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 2, Line 38
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 19-W: 15
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: U.S. Marine Corps
Incident & Biographic Details
Patrolman Thomas Edward Torpy, Star #525, aged 38 years, was a 12 year, 3 month, 14 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 5th District – South Wabash.
On September 22, 1934, at 2:45 p.m., Officer Torpy and his partner, Patrolman Robert Galbraith, went to an apartment located at 4733 South St. Lawrence Avenue. They went there to arrest Clifton Myrick, age 27, who was wanted in connection for his part within a gang that had committed over 40 robberies and two murders. Five members of the gang had already been arrested including Myrick’s brother, John. The officers arrived on scene and set up surveillance. As Myrick walked out of his apartment, Officer Torpy nearest the door, he saw the policemen had him covered with their guns and slammed it shut. Officer Torpy yanked the door open and was shot twice by Myrick. Myrick began to flee as Officer Torpy and Galbraith returned fire and started down the stairs after him. Officer Torpy was shot twice more, the last bullet hitting him in the head. As Officer Torpy Fell down the stairs, mortally wounded, Galbraith pursued the killer returning fire. Officer Galbraith was able to wound Myrick and place him under arrest. Myrick was shot five times in the gunfight. Myrick was loaded into a patrol wagon and transported to the Bridewell Hospital. While en route to the hospital, Myrick attempted to seize Patrolman John Hogan’s revolver. A struggle ensued and Myrick was shot two more times by Patrolman Clinton Towne of the 5th District. Myrick collapsed and died instantly from the additional gunshots. Officer Torpy was transported to Chicago Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival on September 22, 1934.
Officer Torpy was waked at his residence located at 6741 South Parnell Avenue funeral mass was held at St. Bernard’s Church. He was laid to rest on September 26, 1934 in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, 6001 West 111th Street, Alsip, Illinois. His grave is located in Grave 2, Lot 105, Block 14, Section 28.
Patrolman Thomas Edward Torpy, born October 13, 1895, received a Temporary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on August 6, 1919 prior to his Probationary Appointment to the Department on June 8, 1922. Prior to joining the Chicago Police Department he was a fireman.
Officer Torpy served in the U.S. Marine Corps in Okinawa, Japan, survived a helicopter crash and was Honorably Discharged at the rank of Captain. He was survived by his wife, Mary Frances (nee Abel), age 36; son, Thomas Frederick, age 3 and step-daughter, Dorothy Torpy, age 16.