Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 17 years, 7 months, 21 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: District 9 - Kensington
District of Incident (Present Day): 007 - Englewood
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 43
Date of Birth: 25 Feb 1882
Date of Appointment: 12 Mar 1908
Date of Incident: 28 Oct 1925
End of Watch: 02 Nov 1925
Date of Interment: 05 Nov 1925
Cemetery: Forest Home Cemetery - Forest Park, Illinois
Grave Location: Grave 1, Lot SS9, Block 4, Section 6
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # B-9
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 3
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 2, Line 15
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 44-E: 12
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: No Military Record Found
Incident & Biographic Details
Sergeant Harry William Gray, Star #886, aged 43 years, was a 17 year, 7 month, 21 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to District 9 – 115th Street Station.
On October 27, 1925, The Chicago Police Department had partnered with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in hopes of apprehending Martin J. Durkin, age 27. Sergeant Harry J. Gray of the Chicago Police Department was placed in charge of a squad of officers to apprehend Durkin. Durkin was wanted for car theft, for severely wounding three Chicago Police Officers and for the murder of an FBI Special Agent Edwin C. Shanahan on October 11, 1925. He had a $500.00 reward out for his arrest. Durkin’s father, mother and two sisters were previously arrested for helping him flee to California after some shootings in 1924. The FBI had intelligence that Durkin had a girlfriend, Betty A. Andrews, alias Elizabeth A. Werner, age 21 and that the couple often visited her uncle, Lloyd Austin, at his apartment located at 240 West Englewood Avenue.
On October 28, 1925, at 11:13 p.m., Sergeant Gray and his officers went to Lloyd Austin’ apartment and asked if they could wait inside for Durkin. Austin gave permission and the officers stationed themselves in the 2nd floor rear apartment and awaited Durkin’s arrival. In addition to the officers inside the apartment, several officers were stationed throughout the neighborhood. As Durkin arrived, accompanied by his girlfriend, Sergeant Gray arrested him. However, a struggle between the two ensued. During the fight, Sergeant Michael Naughton pointed his shotgun at Durkin and as he pulled the trigger, Sergeant Gray fell against Durkin. His blast grazed Durkin’s left arm the rest of the slugs going through a wall and into a closet where Austin Lloyd was hiding. Austin Lloyd was struck and mortally wounded. In retaliation for her uncle being shot, Betty Andrews produced a revolver and fired, fatally wounding Sergeant Gray. Durkin would also be shot during the struggle, but was unhurt as he was wearing a bulletproof vest. Lloyd Austin was taken to a hospital where he died the next day. Sergeant Gray was taken to Mercy Hospital where his wife was already a patient. She sat at his bedside until he succumbed to his wounds five days later at 5:15 a.m. on November 2, 1925. Sergeant Gray’s last word were reported as, “O, if Naughton had only known how to use a shotgun, or if he had let me take it.”
After the shooting, Andrews helped Durkin escape for a second time. Durkin fled to California where he wounded another policeman before returning east. On January 20, 1926, Durkin was arrested by U.S. Department of Justice Agents onboard a railroad train near St. Louis, Missouri and brought back to Chicago the next day. On January 21, 1926 he was turned over to the Cook County Sheriff. Durkin stood trial and was found guilty. On October 18, 1926, one of his cases was stricken from the record by Judge Eller. In a separate trial, Martin J. Durkin was sentenced to 35 years for the murder of Special Agent Edwin C. Shanahan and 15 years for the auto theft. On August 8, 1945, Durkin was released from Stateville prison after serving 19 years of the 35 year sentence. When released, Federal Marshalls were waiting to take him to Leavenworth prison to begin serving his 15-year sentence for violating the Dyer Act. Durkin appealed for probation on his 15-year sentence and was denied. He was then taken to Leavenworth prison in July 1946. In July 1954, he was released from Leavenworth Prison and died in 1981. It is unknown what if any sentence Betty Andrews received.
Austin Lloyd was survived by his pregnant wife, Marion and their other child, age 18 months. A special fund was set up at many Chicago Police Stations so that Mrs. Austin could receive aid. Due to her husband’s death being an accident many police officers felt an obligation to support the Austin family.
Sergeant Gray was waked at his residence located at 7818 South Eberhart Avenue. His funeral mass was held at St. Dorothy Catholic Church located at 450 East 78th Street. He was laid to rest on November 5, 1925 in Forest Home Cemetery, 863 Desplaines Avenue, Forest Park, Illinois. His grave is located in Grave 1, Lot SS9, Block 4, Section 6.
Sergeant Harry William Gray, born February 25, 1882, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on March 12, 1908. He earned 3 Credible Mentions during his career. On November 8, 1913, he was promoted to 2nd Class Detective Sergeant, becoming effective on November 10, 1913 and his title being officially changed by order of the city council on January 11, 1915. On June 28, 1921, he was promoted to Sergeant.
Sergeant Gray was a member of Calumet Council No. 632 Knights of Columbus. He was survived by his wife, Francis.
Incident Recorded under Chicago Police Department homicide file, Case #8073.
Patrolmen James H. Carroll and James A. Henry, also attempting to apprehend Durkin, were killed in the line of duty during a separate incident. Officer Carroll died on November 27, 1925 and Officer Henry on November 30, 1925.
Ironically, Sergeant Gray’s star number was reissued after his death to Sergeant Arthur Vollmar, who was also killed in the Line of Duty on February 22, 1929.