Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 24 years, 0 months, 5 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: District 6-A - Burnside
District of Incident (Present Day): 006 - Gresham
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Friendly (Accidental)
Age at Time of Death: 51
Date of Birth: 10 Aug 1873
Date of Appointment: 22 Nov 1900
Date of Incident: 006 - Gresham
End of Watch: 27 Nov 1924
Date of Interment: 01 Dec 1924
Cemetery: Calvary Cemetery - Evanston, Illinois
Grave Location: Lot S27, Block 11, Section D
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # B-8
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 4
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Not Listed
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Not Listed
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: No Military Record Found
Incident & Biographic Details
Patrolman Peter Francis Mellody, Jr., Star #1334, aged 51 years, was a 24 year, 0 month, 5 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to District 6-A – Burnside.
On November 27, 1924, at 10:20 p.m., Officer Mellody, was off duty returning home after his shift and outside his district boundaries in District 2-A – Stanton. He entered the Vernon Drug Company’s store at the Southeast corner of 35th Street and Vernon Avenue to investigate the sounds of a burglar alarm coming from the building. After entering the building, he encountered a private watchman, John Breen who was standing in the doorway. Officer Mellody mistook the watchman for a burglar and struck him with his club. The watchman then fired two shots, striking Mellody in his chest just below the heart and hip mortally wounding him. Officer Mellody was taken to Lakeside Hospital where he died. Breen was also taken to the same hospital, treated, and later arrested.
At the Coroner’s Inquest, Breen argued self-defense saying, “He hit me on my head, I had to shoot. It was self-defense.” John Breen was cleared of all charges in connection with Patrolman Mellody’s death by the Coroner as having acted in self defense.
Officer Mellody was waked at his residence located at 8517 South Maryland Avenue. His funeral mass was held at St. Joachim Catholic Church located at 700 East 91st Street. He was laid to rest on December 1, 1924 in Calvary Cemetery, 301 Chicago Avenue, Evanston, Illinois. His grave is located in Lot S27, Block 11, Section D.
Patrolman Peter Francis Mellody, Jr., born August 10, 1873, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on November 22, 1900.
Officer Mellody was a member of St. Charles Borromeo Court No. 59 Catholic Order of Foresters and the Chicago Policemen’s Benevolent & Welfare Association. He was survived by his son, Joseph. He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary (nee Shannon) and sons: James and Vincent.
Incident recorded under Chicago Police Historical Homicide Database, Case #7477.