Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 18 years, 10 months, 7 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: Detective Bureau
District of Incident (Present Day): 009 - Deering
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 41
Date of Birth: 22 Feb 1883
Date of Appointment: 19 Mar 1906
Date of Incident: 21 Jan 1925
End of Watch: 26 Jan 1925
Date of Interment: 29 Jan 1925
Cemetery: Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery - Chicago, Illinois
Grave Location: Unknown
Interment Disposition: Burial
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.
Sergeant Thomas Joseph Babbington, born February 22, 1883, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on November 22, 1900. He earned 1 Credible Mention and 1 Extra Compensation for Meritorious Conduct totaling $180.00 during his career. On September 6, 1913, he was promoted to Desk Sergeant.
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 Department homicide file, Case #7549.