Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 2 years, 4 months, 9 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: 38th District - Town Hall
District of Incident (Present Day): 011 - Harrison
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 30
Date of Birth: 05 Jan 1898
Date of Appointment: 26 Apr 1926
Date of Incident: 011 - Harrison
End of Watch: 04 Sep 1928
Date of Interment: 07 Sep 1928
Cemetery: St. Adalbert Catholic Cemetery - Niles, Illinois
Grave Location: Lot 33, Block F, Section 3
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # B-12
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 3
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 2, Line 24
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 58-E: 7
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: No Military Record Found
Incident & Biographic Details
Patrolman Leonard T. Jagla, Star #1151, aged 30 years, was a 2 year, 4 month, 9 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 38th District – Town Hall, detailed to Detective Division – Ford Squad 20-C.
On September 4, 1928, at 8:25 a.m., Officer Jagla was on patrol with his squad, Lieutenant Albert Mikes and Patrolman Frank Dwyers. They on viewed three suspicious men, Morris Luce, Joe Hendricks, alias Robert Henderson, alias Robert Corwin and one James Nolan enter a cigar store located at 905 South Kedzie Avenue. The officers, following a hunch, decided to go into the store to check on the three men. When they attempted to enter the store, they found the front door locked and realized the store was being robbed. Officer Jagla went to the rear of the store to cover the exit as his partners pounded on the front door. The robbers had already robbed one customer and were about to rob the stores proprietor when the pounding at the front door startled them. Upon learning that the police were at the front door, the bandits abandoned their plans and attempted to flee through the rear door to make their break for liberty. As Officer Jagla covered the rear door the bandits exited and shot Jagla four times after he commanded “Stick’em up.” Officer Jagla collapsed to the ground as all of the bandits, but one, made good their escape.
One of the bandits, Morris Luce, fled in a different direction than his companions. As Luce jumped a fence he was met face to face with the barrel of Officer Dwyer’s service weapon. Seeing this Luce gave up immediately and said, “I surrender. Your buddy’s been shot.” Officer Jagla was rushed to St. Anthony Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Doctors believed that a bullet which entered just above his heart caused the fatal injury.
All attention was now on Luce after learning of Jagla’s death. He was questioned as to the identity of his accomplices, giving names and full descriptions of the two men to police. On September 12, 1928, Luce was held to the grand jury without bail by Judge Trude. The Coroner also recommended the arrest of his two accomplices, Joe Hendricks and James Nolan and warrants were then issued for their arrest. On November 18, 1928, James Nolan was arrested in Houston, Texas and turned over to the Sheriff in Texas before he was extradited back to Chicago. On December 15, 1928, Nolan and Luce were found guilty and each sentenced to 14 years in the Illinois State Penitentiary at Joliet by Judge Williams. Hendricks is still at large.
Officer Jagla was waked in a chapel located at 3711 West Roscoe Street. He was laid to rest on September 7, 1928 in St. Adalbert Catholic Cemetery, 6800 North Milwaukee Avenue, Niles, Illinois. His grave is located in Lot 33, Block F, Section 3.
Patrolman Leonard T. Jagla, born January 5, 1898, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on April 26, 1926.
Officer Jagla was survived by his wife, Lucille (nee Gonia) and daughter, Delores Harriet, age 6. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Lorraine, age 1.
Incident recorded under Chicago Police Historical Homicide Database, Case #10232.
In December of 1923 the Ford Squad was assigned to the Detective Division and detailed to patrol two districts. The cars were manned by four men in plainclothes with two shotguns. They patrolled 24 hours a day in eight hour shifts.