Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 3 years, 6 months, 26 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: 4th District - South Chicago
District of Incident (Present Day): 004 - South Chicago
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 35
Date of Birth: 01 Dec 1937
Date of Appointment: 02 Mar 1970
Date of Incident: 004 - South Chicago
End of Watch: 28 Sep 1973
Date of Interment: 02 Oct 1973
Cemetery: St. Mary Catholic Cemetery - Evergreen Park, Illinois
Grave Location: Lot SW of 820, Block --, Section Q
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # D-5
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 4
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 3, Line 27
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 4-E: 13
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: U.S. Air Force
Incident & Biographic Details
Patrolman Edward Lester Barron, Star #14571, aged 35 years, was a 3 year, 6 month, 26 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 4th District – South Chicago.
On September 28, 1973, at 2:00 p.m., Officer Barron was working beat 460 with his partner, Patrolman Daniel P. Abate, age 31, and assisting Patrolman Keith Grabowski. The officers responded to a call of a robbery in progress at 8005 South Kingston Avenue. Joseph Bigsby, age 16, had just robbed and pistol-whipped one of two elderly victims who were walking their dog. Mr. Lewis Little, age 67, robbery victim, stated that Bigsby robbed him of 55 cents and then returned 25 cents saying, “I can’t do anything with that.“ The second victim was robbed of an unknown amount of money and left the scene without being identified. First to arrive on the scene was Sergeant Mitchel, who after seeing Bigsby ordered him to stop but he turned and fled. The sergeant fired a shot and put out a flash message for Bigsby. Another Sergeant, Anthony Norka, located Bigsby at 7059 South Kingston Avenue and exchanged gunfire with him. Bigsby continued to flee when he was located in a gangway at 7958 South Colfax Avenue by Officer Barron and his partner. Bigsby responded by drawing a Luger pistol, which was used in the robberies and again exchanged gunfire with the officers, striking Officer Barron below the right eye, the bullet lodging at the base of the skull, killing him instantly. Officer Abate returned fire, striking Bigsby, and he went down. It was at that time that Officer Abate saw Officer Barron go down. Officer Abate retreated to his squad car and radioed the task force and then reentered the yard with Officer Grabowski. Bigsby was captured in the rear yard at 7958 South Colfax Avenue and sustained a gunshot wound to his left calf during the chase. Officer Barron was transported to South Shore Hospital by beat 470 where he was pronounced dead on arrival by Dr. Chato at 2:20 p.m. on September 28, 1973.
Bigsby was taken to Burnside police headquarters and was identified by Mr. Little and two other witnesses as the offender. Bigsby was held on a juvenile petition and was later charged and on May 29, 1975 convicted of Murder, three counts of attempt murder and two counts of armed robbery. In September 1973, Bigsby was sentenced to serve 270 years in prison. On June 19, 2013, Bigsby became eligible for parole and had his hearing. On June 27, 2013 the parole board denied Bigsby’s request for parole. Bigsby became eligible for parole again in 2015. On June 25, 2015, Bigsby was granted parole in an 8 to 7 vote by the Illinois Parole Board.
Officer Barron was waked at Lain & Son Chapel located at 2121 West 95th Street. His funeral mass was held at St. George Roman Catholic Church located at 9546 South Ewing Avenue. He was laid to rest on October 2, 1973 in St. Mary Catholic Cemetery, 3801 West 87th Street, Evergreen Park, Illinois. His grave is located in Lot SW of 820, Block –, Section Q.
Patrolman Edward Lester Barron, born December 1, 1937, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on March 2, 1970. He earned 1 Superintendent’s Award of Valor (posthumously) and 5 Credible Mentions during his career.
Officer Barron served in the U.S. Air Force from January 6, 1955 to January 5, 1963, was a veteran of the Vietnam War and was Honorably Discharged at the rank of Airman Second Class. He was a member of Chicago Patrolmen’s Association, Confederation of Police, Illinois Police Association, St. Jude Police League, and the Trinity Council No. 3755 Knights of Columbus. Officer Barron was survived by his wife, Nancy Jo (nee Balogh); children: Linda, age 13 and Paul, age 14; mother, Ethel (nee Klefisch) and siblings: Carol Stipanich, Joan Anderson, John T., Lovila McGlashan, Ronald W., Willene Montez and Reverend Wayne J. Barron of the St. Jude Police League. He was preceded in death by his father, William.
Incident Recorded Under Chicago Police Department RD #N432292 and N432310.
On May 21, 1998, Officer Barron’s star was retired by Superintendent Terry G. Hillard 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 Barron’s Star was re-encased in the new headquarters building lobby.