Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 17 years, 8 months, 26 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: 19th District - Belmont
District of Incident (Present Day): 019 - Town Hall
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 48
Date of Birth: 08 Oct 1937
Date of Appointment: 08 Jul 1968
Date of Incident: 019 - Town Hall
End of Watch: 03 Apr 1986
Date of Interment: 07 Apr 1986
Cemetery: Memory Gardens Cemetery - Arlington Heights, Illinois
Grave Location: Unknown
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # D-7
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 15
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 3, Line 41
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 19-W: 9
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: YES, Branch Unknown
Incident & Biographic Details
Patrolman Richard Wayne Clark, Sr., Star #13034, aged 48 years, was a 17 year, 8 month, 26 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 19th District – Belmont Tactical Unit.
On April 3, 1986, at 3:20 p.m., Officer Clark responded to a call of a “man with a gun“ at 1427 West Lill Avenue. John Pasch, Jr., age 57, had just murdered his landlord, Leslie Shearer, age 45, at 3:15 p.m. in the gangway of the building. Shearer’s sister, Mary Wagner, age 69, heard the first shot and came outside to investigate and then saw Pasch shoot her brother a second time. Hearing Wagner scream, Pasch attempted to drag her into the house, but she fought back. When Pasch heard the sound of police sirens coming he released her and barricaded himself inside the building taking a Ms. Wiwatowski hostage. Officer Clark, the first to arrive on scene, took cover behind a parked car before he began to approach the building when Pasch opened fire from a first floor window. Officer Clark was struck in the right side of the face by a shotgun blast. Within seconds additional backup arrived and began to exchange gunfire with Pasch. Pasch was running from the front to the back of the house shooting at responding officers as they attempted to approach the house from the front and rear. A squadrol was used to block Officer Clark from additional gunfire while he was evacuated by responding officers to a waiting CFD ambulance down the block. Officer Clark was transported to Illinois Masonic Hospital by CFD Ambulance #10 and was pronounced dead by Dr. Michael Victor at 4:37 p.m. on April 3, 1986.
During the shootout Pasch called 911, three separate times, to issue threats against the hostage and responding officers. He claimed he had armored piercing ammunition and hoped to kill another police officer. During the third call he threatened to explode a bomb inside the house if police tried to force their way in and stated that the doors were rigged with explosives. The Department’s Hostage Barricade and Tactics (HBT) team arrived and took control of the scene. Contact was made with Pasch by telephone, in which he stated that he wasn’t giving up until he watched “Battle of the Bulge“ which was scheduled to begin at 3:00 a.m. on WGN and run past 5:00 a.m., he also stated that he may kill himself at the end. Pasch ignored televised pleas by Superintendent Fred Rice to surrender. The female hostage was okay, but Pasch apparently killed two of her dogs and threw them out a window. Several exchanges occurred between police and Pasch over a 36 hour time period, the longest hostage standoff in Chicago history. Pasch exited the apartment, surrendered, and was taken into custody without further incident.
Police recovered several empty boxes of ammunition, several rifle scopes and a .22 caliber rifle from Pasch’s basement apartment. Further investigation revealed that Mr. Shearer had come to 1429 West Lill Avenue to evict Pasch from his basement apartment for failing to pay his rent. Mr. Shearer purchased the building in 1978 and Pasch was a tenant at the time of the purchase.
Pasch was taken into custody and charged with two counts of murder and held without bond. He was tried, convicted and sentenced to death but later died while waiting on death row.
Officer Clark was waked at Smith Corcoran Funeral Home located at 6150 North Cicero Avenue. His funeral mass was held at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church located at 4939 West Montrose Avenue. He was laid to rest on April 7, 1986 in Memory Gardens Cemetery, 2501 East Euclid Avenue, Arlington Heights, Illinois.
Patrolman Richard Wayne Clark, Sr., born October 8, 1937, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on July 8, 1968. He earned 3 Department Commendations, 1 Unit Meritorious award, 47 Honorable Mentions and 19 Complimentary Letters during his career.
Officer Clark served in the Armed Forces in 1959 and was Honorably Discharged. He was a member of the Fraternal Order of Police. Officer Clark was survived by his wife, Erika Katharine Margret (nee Schwarz); children: Julie L., age 16 and Richard Wayne, Jr., age 22 and siblings: James (CPD), Joanne Billberg, Mary Curran and Shirley Silverman. He was preceded in death by his parents: Catherine Irene (nee Brennan) and Noel Mac.
Incident Recorded Under Chicago Police Department RD #H134111.
In 1986, Officer Clark’s star was retired by Superintendent Fred Rice 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 Clark’s Star was re-encased in the new headquarters building lobby.