Thomas Joseph Babbington  | Star #575

Death Classification: Line of Duty Death

Agency: Chicago Police Department

Served: 18 years, 10 months, 7 days

Unit of Assignment / Detail: Detective Bureau (DB)

District of Incident (Present Day): 009 - Deering

Location of Occurrence: Root Street and Princeton Avenue

Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy

Age at Time of Death: 41


Date of Birth: 22 Feb 1883

Date of Appointment: 1906

Date of Incident: 21 Jan 1925

End of Watch: 26 Jan 1925

Date of Interment: 11 May 1834


Interment Details

 Cemetery: Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery - Chicago, Illinois
 Grave Location: Grave N Line HD., Lot 36, Block --, Section 51
 Interment Disposition: Burial


Memorial Details

Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # B-9

Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 2

Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 2, Line 13

National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 32-E: 10

Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed



 Military Service: No Military Record Found


Incident & Biographic Details

Sergeant Thomas Joseph Babbington, Star #575, aged 41 years, was a 18 year, 10 month, 7 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the Detective Bureau, Ford Squad 20-C.

On January 21, 1925, at 4:30 a.m., Sergeant Babbington entered a “soft drink“ parlor at Root Street and Princeton Avenue in search for a wanted offender. As he was arresting the wanted man, several rowdy patrons attacked him. A gun battle ensued and the officer suffered five gunshot wounds. Sergeant Babbington succumbed from his wounds five days later on January 26, 1925. Before Sergeant Babbington died, he was able to identify Emmet Kearns as one of his attackers.

On February 6, 1925, Emmet Kearns was held to the Grand Jury by the Coroner, who also recommended the arrest of Michael Doody as an accomplice. Shortly after, Gerald Doody, David De Coursey, George Gay, John Doody and Marie Daley were all arrested and held as accessories. One William Jones also was wanted on a Bulletin. On July 10, 1925, Michael Doody was arrested and turned over to the Cook County Sheriff. On July 16, 1925, all seven were acquitted in the Criminal Court by Judge Williams.

Sergeant Babbington was waked at his residence located at 5128 South Indiana Avenue. His funeral mass was held at Corpus Christi Church located at 4920 South Grand Boulevard (present day Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive). He was laid to rest on January 29, 1925 in Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery, 2755 West 111th Street, Chicago, Illinois. His grave is located in Grave N Line HD., Lot 36, Block –, Section 51.

Sergeant Thomas Joseph Babbington, born February 22, 1883, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on November 22, 1900 and was issued Star #1567. On September 6, 1913, he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and issued Star #575. He earned 1 Credible Mention and 1 Extra Compensation for Meritorious Conduct totaling $180.00 during his career.

Sergeant Babbington was a member of the Chicago Policemen’s Benevolent & Welfare Association. He was survived by his wife, Kathleen (nee Herne); children: Thomas and William, father, Patrick and siblings: Earl, Harry, Mrs. William McDonald and Ruth.

Incident recorded under Chicago Police Historical Homicide Database, Case #7549.