Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 3 years, 11 months, 14 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: 13th District - Wood
District of Incident (Present Day): 019 - Town Hall
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 31
Date of Birth: 17 Jan 1959
Date of Appointment: 14 Jul 1986
Date of Incident: 019 - Town Hall
End of Watch: 28 Jun 1990
Date of Interment: 06 Jul 1990
Cemetery: Rosehill Cemetery - Chicago, Illinois
Grave Location: Unknown
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # D-8
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 19
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 3, Line 45
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 6-W: 5
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: U.S. Marine Corps
Incident & Biographic Details
Patrolman Johnny Lewis Martin, Jr., Star #16576, aged 31 years, was a 3 year, 11 month, 14 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 13th District – Wood.
On June 28, 1990, Officer Martin was off duty and in his home located at 3228 North Wilton Avenue when his neighbor, Roberto Pizzaro, had an altercation with a known thief. Pizzaro confronted Lionel Myles, age 32, for tampering with his vehicle and warned him he was going to get a policeman. Myles was known in the neighborhood for breaking into cars and stealing items from them. The neighbor then went to Officer Martin’s apartment and asked for his help. By the time the two went back outside to the alley, Myles had left the scene and went to his Lakeview home where he retrieved a handgun. He returned to the scene and found Officer Martin and Pizzaro discussing the incident in the gangway of their building. Myles rode his green 10-speed bicycle to where the two men were standing, pressed his gun against Officer Martin’s chest and fired one fatal shot striking him in the heart. Officer Martin was able to return fire with his off duty weapon before collapsing. Immediately Pizzaro ran for help and Myles fled the scene on his bicycle. Responding officers found Officer Martin at the rear of the apartment building lying on a concrete walk. He was beneath the L tracks near the Belmont station on the CTA’s Red Line. Officer Martin was transported to Illinois Masonic Hospital by CFD Ambulance #43 where he was pronounced dead by Dr. Jacobs at 9:01 p.m. on June 28, 1990. A .32 caliber handgun was recovered several blocks from the crime scene. It was located in a garbage can after a witness told detectives that he gave the gun to Myles who then disposed of it in the garbage after the shooting.
Myles was apprehended in his apartment located at 3311 North Sheffield Avenue and admitted to the shooting. He stated that he didn’t know Martin was a police officer and only shot him in self-defense. In January, 1991, Lionel Myles was found guilty of 1st degree murder. On April 9, 1991, he was sentenced to 35 years in prison. On September 28, 2007, he was released from prison on parole.
Officer Martin was waked at Smith-Corcoran funeral home located at 6150 North Cicero Avenue. His funeral mass was held at The People’s Church of Chicago located at 941 West Lawrence Avenue. He was laid to rest on July 6, 1990 in Rosehill Cemetery, 5800 North Ravenswood Avenue, Chicago, Illinois.
Patrolman Johnny Lewis Martin, Jr., born January 17, 1959, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on July 14, 1986. He earned 1 Department Commendation and 17 Honorable Mentions during his career.
Officer Martin served in the U.S. Marine Corps from October 27, 1976 thru May 4, 1979 and was Honorably Discharged at the rank of Lance Corporal. He was also a member of the Fraternal Order of Police. Officer Martin was survived by his mother, Alice Jean (nee Stewart); step-father, John Perkins and siblings: Deborah, Francine, Joan, Michael, Pam, Ronald and Sharon. He was preceded in death by his father, John Lewis, Sr.
Incident Recorded Under Chicago Police Department RD #N294860.
On September 28, 1990, Officer Martin’s star was retired by Superintendent LeRoy Martin 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 Martin’s Star was re-encased in the new headquarters building lobby.