Illinois Fire Service Institute

 

Firefighter Record

Firefighter Details

Name John P. Walsh
Agency Chicago Fire Department
Rank Lieutenant
Type of Firefighter Career
Age Range 36 to 40
Sex Male
Date of Birth 0/0/0
Date of Death 5/10/1935
Cause of Death Assault
Nature of Death Trauma
Attribute of Death Shootings
Type of Duty Firefighting operations

Incident Details

Incident Name N/A
Incident City Chicago
Incident State IL
Incident Date 5/9/1935
Incident Location [Unknown]
Incident Attribute Fires

Incident Summary

On May 9, 1935, Chicago Fire Department Lieutenant John Patrick Walsh of Truck 39 was fatally injured in the line of duty when he responded to a fire on West Harrison Street. Walsh was knocking on the doors of nearby buildings to alert occupants about the fire when he was shot shortly after midnight by a man who believed his house was being robbed. The shooter fired several shots through the door from inside the house, one of which struck Walsh. He was transported to West Side Hospital, where he died from his injuries on May 10.

The shooter, an immigrant, surrendered to the police, along with his elderly father and uncle, both of whom were also in the home at the time. The shooter was initially charged with murder, and the father and uncle were charged with disorderly conduct, but all charges were dropped upon further investigation after it was learned that the home had been robbed on four previous occasions.

Funeral services for Walsh were held at St. Henry’s Church on May 13, and he was buried at All Saints Cemetery. He was survived by his widow and five children, one of whom was less than two weeks old at the time of Walsh’s death.

Citations:

“Fire Lieutenant Shot By Mistake Has Hope to Live,” Chicago Daily Tribune, May 10, 1935.

“Fire Lieutenant Shot By Mistake Dies In Hospital,” Chicago Daily Tribune, May 11, 1935.

“Fire Lieutenant’s Slayer Is Charged With Murder,” Chicago Daily Tribune, May 12, 1935.

“Chinese Is Freed In Killing Of Fire Lieutenant,” Chicago Daily Tribune, May 25, 1935.


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