Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 20 years, 11 months, 15 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: District 15, 38th Precinct - East Chicago
District of Incident (Present Day): 018 - Near North
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 56
Date of Birth: 15 Aug 1854
Date of Appointment: 09 Jan 1890
Date of Incident: 018 - Near North
End of Watch: 24 Dec 1910
Date of Interment: 27 Dec 1910
Cemetery: Mount Olive Cemetery - Chicago, Illinois
Grave Location: Unknown
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # B-2
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 23
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 1, Line 39
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 44-E: 14
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: No Military Record Found
Incident & Biographic Details
Patrolman Jesse C. Gilman, Star #3953, aged 56 years, was a 20 year, 11 month, 15 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to District 15, 38th Precinct – East Chicago.
On December 23, 1910, Gregori Gracio was fired from his job at the Brooks Laundry Company located at 305 West Indiana Street (present day Grand Avenue). In his anger he fired four shots at his boss, Foreman John Simes and Driver R.C. Fehrman while they were loading a wagon in the rear of the laundry plant. Simes identified him before he was able to make good his escape in a waiting wagon. Simes reported the incident to police and an officer was sent to watch Gracio’s house located at 1020 South Johnson Street (present day Peoria Street). Officer Gilman and his partner, Patrolman William Burns were assigned to keep watch for Gracio in the area of the Laundry company in case he returned to attack.
On December 24, 1910, at 6:00 p.m., Officers Gilman and Burns observed Gracio at Ohio and Wells Streets among a crowd of Christmas shoppers standing in the shadows. The officers approached Gracio and began questioning him. As they were questioning him, the man kept both hands in his overcoat pockets. After exchanging only a few words Gracio suddenly fired two shots through his pocket striking Officer Gilman in the side. Officer Gilman was struck in his left femoral artery and collapsed to the ground bleeding profusely. Gracio then turned and fled Eastbound on Ontario Street. Unsure if he should attend to his partner or chase Gracio, Officer Burns asked his partner where he was hurt. Officer Gilman said, “I’m done for, Billy get him.”
Officer Burns then took off in pursuit, chasing Gracio several blocks, over a half mile, exchanging gunfire during the pursuit. At Wells Street Gracio turned Southbound into an alley between Ontario and Ohio Streets. Officer Burns continued east on Ontario Street and at LaSalle Street caught up with Gracio. Grabbing a hold of Gracio’s overcoat pocket, he couldn’t keep hold and Gracio turned as Officer Burns drew his revolver. Before Officer Burns could draw his weapon, Gracio turned and fired two more rounds at close range. Both shots grazed Officer Burns’ right ear. Gracio then continued running and turned east onto Ohio Street. Officer Burns was in close pursuit but hesitated to fire back because of the large crowds. It was at Rush Street where Gracio turned north into an alley and continued east to Cass Street (present day Wabash Street). He was met at the mouth of the alley where Officer Burns had his revolver drawn and yelled, “Throw up your hands, or I’ll kill you!” In response, Gracio attempted to draw his gun from his pocket one more time. In fear for his life, Officer Burns fired one round. Gracio was struck in the head, the bullet piercing Gracio’s brain.
Ten minutes after the shooting, responding officers discovered Officer Gilman laying on the ground and rushed him to Passavant Hospital. Officer Gilman lingered there for one day, succumbing to his wounds at 4:00 p.m. on December 25, 1910. Gracio was also taken to Passavant Hospital where he died shortly after arriving.
Officer Gilman was waked at his residence located at 844 West Garfield Avenue, his funeral mass was also held at his residence. He was laid to rest on December 27, 1910 in Mount Olive Cemetery, 3800 North Narragansett Avenue, Chicago, Illinois.
Patrolman Jesse C. Gilman, born August 15, 1854, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on January 9, 1890.
Officer Gilman was survived by his wife, Florence and children: Jessie, Mabel and Mrs. Edward Baynes.
Incident recorded under Chicago Police Historical Homicide Database, Case #2847.