Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 13 years, 11 months, 1 day
Unit of Assignment / Detail: District 9, 21st Precinct - Maxwell
District of Incident (Present Day): 012 - Near West
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Friendly (Accidental)
Age at Time of Death: 44
Date of Birth: 1861
Date of Appointment: 21 Jun 1890
Date of Incident: 012 - Near West
End of Watch: 22 May 1904
Date of Interment: 24 May 1904
Cemetery: Calvary Cemetery - Evanston, Illinois
Grave Location: Lot N16, Block 9, Section L
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # B-1
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 6
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 1, Line 34
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 62-E: 2
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: No Military Record Found
Incident & Biographic Details
Detective Michael Shaughnessy, Star #1475, aged 44 years, was a 13 year, 11 month, 1 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to District 9, 21st Precinct – Maxwell.
On May 21, 1904, a Miss Annie Brenner of No. 177 Bunker Street (present day 772 West Grenshaw Street) reported to detectives that her purse containing $4.00 was snatched from her. Providing detectives a description, detectives surmised that a well-known pickpocket, Peter Lawrence, was the offender.
Detectives Long and Shaughnessy set out in search for Lawrence and a few minutes after 9:00 p.m., observed Lawrence board a streetcar at 12th and Clinton Streets. At the same time, Lawrence saw the detectives and leaped from the streetcar fled on foot towards Canal Street. Lawrence then ran into Charles Shovron’s Saloon located at 493 South Canal Street (present day 1140 South Canal Street). The detectives in pursuit, Detective Long followed Lawrence inside as Detective Shaughnessy ran to the rear of the saloon in an attempt to prevent an escape through the rear door. Detective Long seized Lawrence inside the saloon and a scuffle ensued when Lawrence attempted to draw a revolver. It was at this time that Lawrence shouted for assistance from the patrons inside the saloon. A crowd moved in and began to attack Detective Long. He was cut with a knife in the forehead and severely beaten with slung shots while lying prostrate on the floor. Detective Long was able to free his hand, draw his revolver and fire two shots into the floor to call for help. Hearing the gunfire, Detective Shaughnessy ran in trough the rear door and made his way through the crowd. As he broke through the crowd, Detective Long fired another round. Detective Shaughnessy was struck in his left side and fell to the floor and was then trampled on by the crowd.
By this time a riot call went out and Patrol Wagons from the Maxwell and Hinman Street Stations were dispatched. Upon arrival, Detective Shaughnessy was found unconscious at the door while Detective Long, still dazed, and Detective Thomas Murray held Lawrence and four others in custody. Detective Shaughnessy was taken to Cook County Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries the next day on May 22, 1904.
Following the shooting, Captain Haines and a dozen detectives arrived on scene and attempted to identify the slayers of Detective Shaughnessy. Three men were found and related to the captain that they saw Detective Shaughnessy shot by an escaping ex-convict. While the captain was taking the statement, Detective Long staggered over and said, “Don’t look for any one, captain,” he said crying aloud. “I did it. He broke through as I pulled the trigger and I shot down one of the best friends I ever had.” Long had been Shaughnessy’s partner for over 12 years in the same station.
On June 2, 1904, Detective Robert Long was exonerated by a Coroner’s Jury.
Detective Shaughnessy was waked at his residence located at No. 25 Johnson Street (present day 1030 South Peoria Street). His funeral mass was held at Holy Family Church located at 1080 West Roosevelt Road. He was laid to rest on May 24, 1904 in Calvary Cemetery, 301 Chicago Avenue, Evanston, Illinois. His grave is located in Lot N16, Block 9, Section L.
Detective Michael Shaughnessy, born in 1861, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on June 21, 1890.
Detective Shaughnessy was survived by his wife, Elizabeth.
Incident recorded under Chicago Police Historical Homicide Database, Case #2285.
In February 1958, Officer Shaughnessy’s star was retired by Commissioner Timothy J. O’Connor and enshrined in the Superintendent’s Honored Star Case, located in the lobby at Chicago Police Headquarters, 1121 South State Street. In 2000, Chicago Police Headquarters moved to a new facility at 3510 South Michigan Avenue, Officer Shaughnessy’s Star was re-encased in the new headquarters building lobby.