Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 18 years, 8 months, 22 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: District 33 - Summerdale
District of Incident (Present Day): 020 - Lincoln
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 52
Date of Birth: 19 Oct 1874
Date of Appointment: 01 Oct 1908
Date of Incident: 23 Jun 1927
End of Watch: 23 Jun 1927
Date of Interment:
Cemetery: Calvary Cemetery - Evanston, Illinois
Grave Location: Lot 34, Block 2, Section U
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # B-11
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 7
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 2, Line 20
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 20-W: 8
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: YES, Branch Unknown
Incident & Biographic Details
Sergeant Thomas William Kehoe, Star #900, aged 52 years, was a 18 year, 8 month, 22 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to District 33 – Summerdale.
On June 23, 1927, at approximately 12:00 a.m., a citizen, E. S. Cooper and his wife, came into the Summerdale station to report their automobile stolen. According to Cooper he had been driving on Berwyn Avenue between Lincoln and Western Avenues when another man, Jack Leathers of Normal, Illinois, brandishing a gun and driving a large vehicle forced his vehicle to the curb. Leathers then exited his car and jumped onto the running board of Cooper’s car and pointed his gun at him. Leathers then ordered Cooper to drive east. After driving a short distance, Leathers ordered Cooper to pull over and robbed him of $5.00 and then threw him out of the car.
While Mr. Cooper was in the process of telling his story to police, Patrolman James Farley and Sergeant Thomas Kehoe monitored a call which came into the station of a suspicious man with a flashlight trying to break into and apartment located at 2451 West Gunnison Street. Sergeant Kehoe and Officer Farley responded to the scene. While en route, at 1:35 a.m., the officers spotted a vehicle matching the description of Mr. Cooper’s automobile parked in front of 4936 North Rockwell Avenue with a man and women seated inside. The officers confirmed the auto to be Cooper’s and moved in to investigate. While attempting to place the male occupant, Jack Leathers, in custody he produced a revolver firing at the officers. The officers returned fire and a firefight ensued with all three men being hit and eventually succumbing to their wounds. While the gunfire was being exchanged, the female occupant of the car fled the scene.
Police investigating the shooting were able to identify Leathers by running his fingerprints. He had served time at the Pontiac Reformatory at the age of 19. Police also discovered that the car used to force Mr. Cooper to the curb was also stolen from Emil Svedian on June 22, 1927 at 10:30 p.m.
Sergeant Kehoe was waked at his residence located at 2853 West Leland Avenue. His funeral mass was held at Our Lady of Mercy Church located at 4432 North Troy Street. He was laid to rest June 27, 1927 in Calvary Cemetery, 301 Chicago Avenue, Evanston, Illinois. His grave is located in Lot 34, Block 2, Section U.
Sergeant Thomas William Kehoe, born October 19, 1874, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on October 1, 1908. He earned 1 Credible Mention 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 Kehoe served in the Armed Forces, was a veteran of World War I and the Spanish American War and was Honorably Discharged. He was survived by his wife, Catherine (nee Finn) and sister, Mrs. J. J. Touhey.
Incident Recorded under Chicago Police Department homicide file, Case #8026.