Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 1 year, 5 months, 14 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: 17th District - New City
District of Incident (Present Day): 009 - Deering
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 32
Date of Birth: 08 Jul 1895
Date of Appointment: 14 Sep 1926
Date of Incident: 009 - Deering
End of Watch: 28 Feb 1928
Date of Interment: 01 Mar 1928
Cemetery: Mount Hope Cemetery - Chicago, Illinois
Grave Location: Unknown
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # B-11
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 14
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 2, Line 22
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 53-E: 9
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: No Military Record Found
Incident & Biographic Details
Detective Walter Edwin Lilly, Star #5615, aged 32 years, was a 1 year, 5 month, 14 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 17th District – New City, detailed to a Detective Bureau – Ford Squad.
On February 28, 1928, at 12:25 a.m., Detective Lilly was off duty and working in a parking garage located at 458 West 79th Street. The garage was a block away from where he lived. While parking his car in the garage, in the rear of the above location, two men approached and announced an armed robbery. Unaware that Lilly was a police officer; the men pulled out weapons and demanded Lilly’s valuables. Lilly attempted to frustrate the robbery when he attempted to draw his service revolver. The men fired their weapons before Lilly could fully draw. Detective Lilly was struck and fell to the sidewalk mortally wounded. Although he was wounded, he continued to fire at the men as they ran down 79th Street, unloading almost a dozen rounds from the two guns he carried. Detective Lilly was taken to Auburn Park Hospital where died a half hour later.
Before Detective Lilly passed away, he was able to give a description of the offenders. He said that one of the men was wearing a leather jacket. He also believed that he had wounded one of the men as they fled. Detective Lilly also stated that he remembered seeing the men hail a Westbound taxicab before he collapsed to the sidewalk. The assailants were never identified and are still at large.
Detective Lilly’s wife of two years, Lorraine, heard the gunfire exchanged between her husband and the bandits as the murder scene was less than a block from their home.
Detective Lilly’s funeral mass was held at his sister’s residence located at 7218 South Emerald Avenue. He was laid to rest on March 1, 1928 in Mount Hope Cemetery, 11500 South Fairfield Avenue, Chicago, Illinois.
Detective Walter Edwin Lilly, born July 8, 1895, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on September 14, 1926. He earned 1 Credible Mention during his career.
Detective Lilly was survived by his wife, Lorraine; parents: Allan and Ethel (nee Bates) and sister, Mrs. Lowell Butler.
Incident recorded under Chicago Police Historical Homicide Database, Case #10411.