Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 1 month, 19 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: District 12 - Stock Yards
District of Incident (Present Day): 009 - Deering
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 29
Date of Birth: 20 Feb 1893
Date of Appointment: 30 Oct 1922
Date of Incident: 19 Dec 1922
End of Watch: 19 Dec 1922
Date of Interment: 22 Dec 1922
Cemetery: Mount Carmel Cemetery - Hillside, Illinois
Grave Location: Grave 4, Lot N10, Block 10, Section T
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # B-7
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 22
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 2, Line 8
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 24-E: 4
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: U.S. Army
Incident & Biographic Details
Probationary Patrolman Ralph Stewart Souders, Star #360, aged 29 years, was a 1 month, 19 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to District 12 – Stock Yards.
On December 19, 1922, 8:30 a.m., Officer Souders was assigned to guard the A&P (Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company) Store located at 5361 South Morgan Street after a string of recent robberies. Two juveniles, Bernard “Nagles“ Grant, age 21, and Walter Krauser, age 19, entered the back room of the store and immediately held Officer Souders at gunpoint as they attempted to hold up Adam Glass, the manager. A moment later Officer Souders lunged at one of the suspects, who opened fire. Officer Souders fell dead, one bullet having pierced his heart. One of the bandits was wounded in the arm by his own gun apparently having been turned against him in the scuffle. He left his coat, one sleeve bloody, and his cap as he made good his escape.
A manhunt for the bandits was conducted and their identities were learned. Twelve hours after learning of their identities police had them in custody. On December 21, 1921, Bernard Grant and Walter Krauser were turned over to the Sheriff on indictment after confessing to the crimes. Grant was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to hang on June 15, 1923 by Judge Hebel. On July 7, 1923, Krauser was sentenced to hang on October 19, 1923 by Judge Hebel. Both appealed their cases to the Supreme Court. On July 3, 1924, Supreme Court Judge Caverly affirmed Grant’s sentence. On February 21, 1925, Supreme Court Judge Hopkins reversed Krauser’s sentence and he was re-sentenced to life in the Illinois State Penitentiary at Joliet. On June 20, 1925, Grant attacked Krauser in prison with a knife and stabbed him five times. He died the next day. A few weeks later Grant killed himself by setting his clothes on fire.
Officer Souders was laid to rest on December 22, 1922 in Mount Carmel Cemetery, 1400 South Wolf Road, Hillside, Illinois, Section T. His grave is located in Grave 4, Lot N10, Block 10, Section T.
Probationary Patrolman Ralph Stewart Souders, born on February 23, 1893, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on October 30, 1922.
Officer Souders served in the U.S. Army. from April 6, 1917 thru August 18, 1918 in Company I, 20th Infantry, was a veteran of World War I and was Honorably Discharged at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He was also a member of the Chicago Policemen’s Benevolent & Welfare Association. Officer Souders was survived by his expectant wife, Mary (nee Hughes) and son, Ralph, Age 2. On April 23, 1923, his wife gave birth to a baby boy, Warren Lee Souders.
Incident Recorded under Chicago Police Department homicide file, Case #7460.