Detective James L. Kelly

Photo of Detective James L. Kelly
End of Watch: Thu, Mar 31st, 1932
Date of Incident: Thu, Mar 31st, 1932
Cause of Death: Gunfire (Intentional)
Service Time: Not Known
Age: 33


His wife and four children.


Detective James Kelly was shot and killed in Oak Park, Illinois, while investigating several armed robberies in Gary and Hammond.

Upon receiving information the gang responsible for these crimes was headquartered at 37 Harrison Street, Detective Kelly and an Oak Park detective entered the apartment building. Although the primary suspect was not there, three other suspects were arrested and their weapons confiscated. As the officers walked the men to a nearby corner with a patrol box, one suspect drew a second concealed revolver. Detective Kelly was shot and killed, while the Oak Park detective was wounded, but was able to return fire injuring another suspect.

Two of the suspects were held, but the shooter fled the scene. On April 16, he and another gang member were arrested in Newark, Ohio, after robbing two theater messengers of $400 in Zanesville the night before. The shooter pleaded guilty to murder in exchange for being spared the death penalty. He was sentenced to life in prison on June 3, 1932.

Detective Kelly was survived by his wife and four children.

Information obtained from the Officer Down Memorial Page.


Gary Police Department Patch
555 Polk Street
Gary, Indiana 46402
(219) 881-1207


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