Death Classification: Line of Duty Death

Agency: Chicago Police Department

Served: 17 years, 4 months, 9 days

Unit of Assignment / Detail: District 2 - Cottage Grove

District of Incident (Present Day): 001 - Central

Location of Occurrence: 

Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy

Age at Time of Death: 45


Date of Birth: 05 Oct 1878

Date of Appointment: 07 Mar 1907

Date of Incident: 001 - Central

End of Watch: 16 Jul 1924

Date of Interment: 22 Jul 1924


Interment Details

 Cemetery: Westlawn Cemetery - Kansas City, Kansas
 Grave Location: Unknown
 Interment Disposition: Burial


Memorial Details

Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # B-8

Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 20

Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 2, Line 10

National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 45-E: 5

Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed



 Military Service: No Military Record Found


Incident & Biographic Details

Patrolman James A. Williams, Star #942, aged 45 years, was a 17 year, 4 month, 9 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to District 2 – Cottage Grove.

On July 14, 1924, at 9:35 p.m., Officer Williams was on patrol when he observed four armed gunmen, Walter Harris, Charles Holis, Clarence Mitchell and Nathan Pauletto, robbing the home of Mrs. Flora Davis located at 2819 South Wabash Avenue. As Officer Williams arrived on scene Nathan Pauletto opened fire striking the officer six times, four in the back and two in his side. The robbers then began to flee the scene on foot. Officer Williams returned fire, as he fell to the ground, and wounded Nathan Pauletto striking him in the abdomen. Pauletto’s accomplices deserted him and continued to flee the scene. Officer Williams was rushed to Michael Reese Hospital where he succumbed to his wounds two days later on July 16, 1924. Pauletto was arrested and taken to the Bridewell Hospital where he was treated and recovered.

Sergeants Patrick Lee and Frank McNamara tracked down the other three bandits. They arrested Walter Harris of Bunker Street (present day Grenshaw Street), as a suspect. During questioning Harris admitted to the robbery but denied shooting. He gave the names of his accomplices, Holis, Mitchell and Pauletto. Charles Holis and Clarence Mitchell were later arrested and stood trial with Pauletto and Harris. On November 12, 1924, all four suspects were found guilty and sentenced to life in the Illinois State Penitentiary at Joliet by Judge Wells.

Officer Williams was laid to rest on July 22, 1924 in Westlawn Cemetery, 628 South 38th Street, Kansas City, Kansas.

Patrolman James A. Williams, born October 5, 1878, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on March 7, 1907. He earned 2 Credible Mentions during his career.

Officer Williams was survived by his wife, Veda.

Incident recorded under Chicago Police Historical Homicide Database, Case #7470.