Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 22 years, 0 months, 13 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: 5th District - Wabash
District of Incident (Present Day): 002 - Wentworth
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 48
Date of Birth: 18 Oct 1909
Date of Appointment: 07 Dec 1935
Date of Incident: 20 Dec 1957
End of Watch: 20 Dec 1957
Date of Interment: 25 Dec 1957
Cemetery: Westlawn Cemetery - Norridge, Illinois
Grave Location: Unknown
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # D-3
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 22
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 3, Line 4
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 31-E: 17
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: No Military Record Found
Incident & Biographic Details
Temporary Detective Barney L. Halperin, Star #7214, aged 48 years, was a 22 year, 0 month, 13 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 5th District – Wabash.
On December 20, 1957, Detective Halperin had recently finished his shift at the Wabash Station at 8:00 a.m. During lunch hour, he was visiting a friend at his drug store located at 4301 South Michigan Avenue. A citizen ran in and told him of an armed robbery that was in progress at Alvin’s restaurant located at 116 East 43rd Street. Detective Halperin immediately left and ran to the scene. Two other off duty officers, Detective Walter Johnston of the Wabash Avenue District and Patrolman Young C. Hobson of the Prairie Avenue District, who were nearby also heard about the armed robbery and arrived at the restaurant the same time Halperin did. Detective Halperin secured the front entrance and told the other two officers to cover the rear. Detective Halperin then took aim at the gunman, Thomas E. Gooden, age 32 of Markham, from outside while he was inside robbing and pointing his .22 caliber pump action rifle at some 35 restaurant patrons. Detective Halperin lowered his weapon and did not take a shot, for what was speculated that he feared he might hit one of the patrons by accident. As Gooden backed out of the restaurant’s front door he was confronted by Detective Halperin. Halperin shouted “Drop that gun.“ Gooden responded and said “you better get out of my way,“ and began shooting. A witness said Halperin could have shot first but he seemed to be looking at all the people standing behind the robber. Detective Halperin was shot in the head, but still managed to wound his assailant. After shooting Halperin, Gooden walked over to Detective Halperin as he lay on the pavement, stood over him, firing several more shots into his body. Gooden, limping, fled down the alley and began shooting at Detective Johnston and Officer Hobson. 300 feet north of the alley entrance, Gooden got into a 1957 Chevrolet automobile that was parked there and started the motor. Gooden then sped down the alley toward the pursuing officers. At this time the two officers had been joined by Patrolmen Harold Carr and Robert Christian, who had heard the gunfire and ran to investigate. All four policemen fired at the oncoming car in which Gooden was laying across the front seat holding one arm up to steer the vehicle. The car hit a telephone pole and stopped, and the policemen fired several more shots into the car and Gooden died at the scene.
The incident started when Gooden entered the restaurant and ordered a meal. After eating part of it, he told a waitress, Mrs. Rebecca Stuart, age 28, he was going out and would return. When he came back he carried the rifle and ordered the 35 patrons and all the employees to stand up and put their wallets on the counter. Gooden then went behind the counter and scooped up the wallets and fired three shots into the cash register when he was unable to open it. He then lined the customers and employees up against a wall and fired a shot before he left.
Detective Halperin was waked at Hartman-Miller Funeral Home located at 2018 West Division Street, his funeral service was conducted by Rabbi Victor Weissburg. He was laid to rest on December 25, 1957 in Westlawn Cemetery, 7801 West Montrose Avenue, Norridge, Illinois.
Temporary Detective Barney L. Halperin, born October 18, 1909, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on December 7, 1935. He earned 1 Credible Mention and a Commendation for service beyond the call of duty during his career. Halperin was promoted to Temporary Detective on November 16, 1956. He planned to retire in two years. Detective Halperin and his partner had worked on 200 murder cases, solving a large number of them. He was also the partner of Detective Louis Abbott for many years before Abbott was also slain in the line of duty on March 3, 1947.
Detective Halperin was a member of the Chicago Police Post No. 207 American Legion, Chicago Policemen’s Benevolent & Welfare Association, and the St. Jude League. He was survived by his wife, Nettie; mother, Tillie (nee Leiberman) and siblings: Joseph and Samuel. He was preceded in death by his father, David.