Death Classification: Line of Duty Death

Agency: Chicago Police Department

Served: 15 years, 10 months, 3 days

Unit of Assignment / Detail: District 6 - Grand Crossing

District of Incident (Present Day): 004 - South Chicago

Location of Occurrence: 

Cause of Death: Struck - By Vehicle

Age at Time of Death: 47


Date of Birth: 13 Aug 1879

Date of Appointment: 01 Apr 1911

Date of Incident: 004 - South Chicago

End of Watch: 04 Feb 1927

Date of Interment:


Interment Details

 Cemetery: Evergreen Cemetery - Evergreen Park, Illinois
 Grave Location: Unknown
 Interment Disposition: Burial


Memorial Details

Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Not Enshrined

Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 11

Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 2, Line 19

National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 32-E: 11

Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed



 Military Service: No Military Record Found


Incident & Biographic Details

Patrolman David Joseph Cairns, Star #911, aged 47 years, was a 15 year, 10 month, 3 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to District 6 – Grand Crossing.

On February 4, 1927, Patrolman Cairns was regulating traffic on the Northwest corner of 79th Street and Stony Island Avenue. An automobile struck Officer Cairns whose driver, Charles Smith, then fled the scene. Smith was apprehended two blocks from the scene by another motorist who pursued and caught him.

Charles Smith was indicted and held by the Coroner. On February 4, 1927 the Grand Jury returned a No Bill.

Officer Cairns was laid to rest on February 7, 1927 in Evergreen Cemetery, 3401 West 87th Street, Evergreen Park, Illinois.

Patrolman David Joseph Cairns, born August 13, 1879, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on August 5, 1919.

Officer Cairns was survived by his wife, Lillian Justo (nee Lay) and son, David Arthur, age 12.

Incident recorded under Chicago Police Historical Homicide Database, Case #7817.