Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 3 years, 2 months, 22 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: 5th District - Kensington
District of Incident (Present Day): 005 - Calumet
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 27
Date of Birth: 08 Sep 1942
Date of Appointment: 18 Jul 1966
Date of Incident: 005 - Calumet
End of Watch: 09 Oct 1969
Date of Interment: 13 Oct 1969
Cemetery: Washington Memorial Cemetery - Homewood, Illinois
Grave Location: Unknown
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # D-4
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 4
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 3, Line 19
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 43-E: 17
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: U.S. Marine Corps
Incident & Biographic Details
Patrolman LeRoy N. Berry, Jr., Star #12789, aged 27 years, was a 3 year, 2 month, 22 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 5th District – Kensington.
On October 9, 1969, at 9:37 p.m., Officer Berry was 10-99 on beat 508 and responded to a disturbance call in the parking lot of St. Thaddeus Catholic Church located at 9540 South Harvard Avenue. Upon arrival he had placed two youths into custody. He placed them inside the backseat of his squad car and began question them from the front seat. As the youths sat in the squad car, one of the youths produced a gun and fired at Officer Berry. Officer Berry fell out of the driver’s seat and fell to the ground mortally wounded. The two youths exited the car and opened the car’s trunk in an attempt to steal two shotguns, but when they opened the trunk the squad cars siren went off, a security feature. The two youths scared away by the siren fled the scene over the nearby Chicago and Western Indiana Railroad tracks. Priests Thomas Rafferty and John Cassidy saw the two youths fleeing the scene after they heard the siren from the squad car go off. When the priests went to investigate they found Officer Berry lying face down on the ground next the front passenger side tire of his squad car He was the apparent victim of an armed robbery and his service revolver, wallet and police star were missing. Father Rafferty, seeing that Officer Berry was near death, administered last rites. Three bullet holes were found in the squad car, one in the roof and one each in the front and side windows. Officer Berry was transported to Roseland Community Hospital by beat 670 and was pronounced dead on arrival by Dr. Lucine at 10:50 p.m. on October 9, 1969.
Descriptions of the offenders were given by Fathers Cassidy and Rafferty in addition to an unidentified witness. On October 10, 1969, based on the descriptions, police arrested Jonathan Brown, Age 20, of 723 East 91st Street, Charles Moore, age 21, of 9111 South Normal Avenue and Sedrick Moore, age 18, of 614 West 95th Street. On October 10, 1969, Hayden was released without charging. Brown and Moore were charged with murder, held to the Grand Jury without bond by Judge George E. Dolezal, On January 20, 1970, a true bill was returned on Brown and Moore. On February 10, 1970, both Brown and Moore were found not guilty by Judge Romuti.
Officer Berry was waked at A. R. Leak Funeral Home located at 7838 South Cottage Grove Avenue. He was laid to rest on October 13, 1969 in Washington Memorial Cemetery, 701 Ridge Road, Homewood, Illinois.
Patrolman LeRoy N. Berry, Jr., born September 8, 1942, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on July 18, 1966 and was in Recruit Class 66-14A at the O’Brien Street Police Academy. He earned 1 Department Commendation and 1 Honorable Mention during his career.
Officer Berry served in U.S. Marine Corps and was Honorably Discharged. He was survived by his parents: Gertrude (nee Green) and LeRoy N., Sr. and four siblings: Paul W.
Incident Recorded Under Chicago Police Department RD #H395067.