Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 2 years, 2 months, 10 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: 13th District - Morgan Park
District of Incident (Present Day): 022 - Morgan Park
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Friendly (Accidental)
Age at Time of Death: 34
Date of Birth: 04 Jul 1896
Date of Appointment: 06 Jul 1928
Date of Incident: 022 - Morgan Park
End of Watch: 16 Sep 1930
Date of Interment: 19 Sep 1930
Cemetery: Holy Sepulchre Cemetery - Alsip, Illinois
Grave Location: Grave 3, Lot 16, Block 18, Section 11
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # C-2
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 22
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 2, Line 28
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 30-E: 5
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: No Military Record Found
Incident & Biographic Details
Patrolman William Ivory McCann, Star #34, aged 34 years, was a 2 year, 2 month, 10 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 13th District – Morgan Park.
On September 16, 1930, at 2:00 a.m., Patrolman McCann and his partner, Patrolman Adolph F. Avery, both in uniform, responded to a radio flash message of a “burglary in progress” at 1434 West 111th Street. The officers arrived on scene within two minutes of the call being broadcast. As Officer McCann walked alongside the residence, in the gangway, he was shot five times through a side window by the tenant, Leon Davis, age 29. Davis was the caller who had reported burglars in the basement of the house. In the confusion of the burglary, the frightened citizen, Leon Davis, fearing for the safety of his wife, Laura, and their son, Leon, Jr., age 3, mistook Officer McCann for the burglar and fired several shots. Officer McCann was shot in the forehead just above his right eye and fell to the ground mortally wounded. Officer Avery was just about to return fire when he heard the cries of Davis’ wife and son from within the apartment. A fire truck, which had been passing the house after a nearby alarm, arrived on scene after hearing the shots. Officer McCann was transported to Roseland Community Hospital by the fire truck where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
In a statement given by Leon Davis after the incident he admitted that he had fired the shots, and was adamant in stating that “When I heard the footsteps outside…I never thought the police could get there so quickly.” On September 16, 1930, Leon Davis was arrested and held by the Coroner for manslaughter. On September 16, 1930 the Grand Jury returned a No Bill after it was determined that his actions were unintentional.
Officer McCann was waked at 1018 West 70th Street. His funeral mass was held at St. Leo’s Church located at 7747 South Emerald Avenue. He was laid to rest on September 19, 1930 in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, 6001 West 111th Street, Alsip, Illinois. His grave is located in Grave 3, Lot 16, Block 18, Section 11.
Patrolman William Ivory McCann, born July 4, 1896, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on July 6, 1928.
Officer McCann was a member of LaRabida Council No. 980 Knights of Columbus and the Chicago Policemen’s Benevolent & Welfare Association. He was survived by his wife, Genevieve (nee Pierce); children: John E., age 12 and William Francis, age 13; father, Patrick Joseph, Sr. and siblings: Frank, George, Patrick Joseph, Jr., and Veronica Folliard.
Incident recorded under Chicago Police Historical Homicide Database, Case #10665.