Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 7 months, 22 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: District 7 - South Chicago
District of Incident (Present Day): 004 - South Chicago
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 26
Date of Birth: 09 Oct 1895
Date of Appointment: 12 Aug 1921
Date of Incident: 03 Apr 1922
End of Watch: 03 Apr 1922
Date of Interment: 06 Apr 1922
Cemetery: Mount Carmel Cemetery - Hillside, Illinois
Grave Location: Grave 2, Lot SS19, Block 5, Section M
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # B-7
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 15
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 2, Line 6
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 29-E: 2
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: U.S. Army
Incident & Biographic Details
Probationary Patrolman Ernest Harry Cassidy, Star #2692, aged 26 years, was a 7 month, 22 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to District 7 – South Chicago.
On April 3, 1922, at 8:50 p.m., Officer Cassidy was on duty and escorting the Treasurer, Philip Sommer, of the Royal Building & Loan Association as he carried a satchel containing $4,200.00 in cash and $3,800.00 in checks, the day’s receipts. This was their nightly routine. They were walking to the bank located at 9117 South Commercial Avenue and as they walked down the street, Sommers exchanged greetings with passersby. In a coincidence of events he had a conversation with one man who had inquired about his regular evening walk of transferring cash. Sommers replied, ”Yes. You know last week I had a dream I was held up. So on that Monday I had them give me two policemen. Nothing Happened. So I reduced the guard to one again,” ironically unaware as to what would soon transpire.
Officer Cassidy and Mr. Sommers continued their walk and oddly there were no pedestrians within the last 100 feet of their walk. This was always a busy stretch and always bustling with pedestrians. As the men arrived in front of the bank, five armed offenders pulled up in a black touring car with its curtains drawn. Suddenly one man jumped out of the car and stood behind Cassidy and ordered him to put his hands up. Officer Cassidy attempted to draw his revolver, but he was unable to clear the holster before the man opened fire. Officer Cassidy was hit in the chest, the bullet passing through his heart. He collapsed to the sidewalk and died before a doctor arrived ten minutes later. The gunman then turned and fired upon Ernest Sommers mortally wounding him before grabbing the $8000.00 and fleeing the scene. Neither Officer Cassidy of Mr. Sommers regained conscious and were unable to provide any details of the events.
On May 3, 1922, Charles Conroy was arrested for the murders. On May 4, 1922, he was held to the Grand Jury without bail by Judge Rooney. On July 13, 1922, the charge against Conroy was stricken off the record by Judge Caverly.
Officer Cassidy was waked at his residence located at 631 South Hermitage Avenue. He was laid to rest on April 6, 1922 in Mount Carmel Cemetery, 1400 South Wolf Road, Hillside, Illinois. His grave is located in Grave 2, Lot SS19, Block 5, Section M.
Probationary Patrolman Ernest Harry Cassidy, born October 9, 1895, received a Temporary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on August 5, 1919 prior to his Probationary Appointment to the Department on August 12, 1921.
Officer Cassidy served in the U.S. Army from May 3, 1918 thru April 23, 1919 in Company B, 102nd Infantry, was a veteran of World War I and was Honorably Discharged at the rank of Private. He was survived by his parents: Katheryn and Patrick and siblings: James, John, Thomas and Theresa.
Incident Recorded under Chicago Police Department homicide file, Case #5867.