Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 2 years, 1 month, 3 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: District 10 - Gresham
District of Incident (Present Day): 006 - Gresham
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Accidental
Age at Time of Death: 28
Date of Birth: 08 Feb 1896
Date of Appointment: 27 Oct 1922
Date of Incident: 006 - Gresham
End of Watch: 30 Nov 1924
Date of Interment: 03 Dec 1924
Cemetery: Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery - Chicago, Illinois
Grave Location: Unknown
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # B-8
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 16
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 2, Line 13
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 12-W: 3
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: No Military Record Found
Incident & Biographic Details
Patrolman William A. Perren, Star #846, aged 28 years, was a 2 year, 1 month, 3 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to District 10 – Gresham.
On November 30, 1924, at 1:15 a.m., Officer Perren was on patrol with Sergeant Peter Carney, Patrolmen Dave Van Booven, Frank Morrell and Frank Warburten. They were working in plainclothes and driving an unmarked Ford Flivver Squad. Officer Perren, the driver of the squad car, drove up alongside the car of Hugh A. Stewart, in front of 8515 South Paulina Street. The officers had just turned the corner at 85th and Paulina Streets and observed the car at a standstill at the curb. They pulled alongside to investigate the suspicious auto. Officer Perren ran the autos bell as Sergeant Carney stepped out of the car. It was at this time that shots rang out. Stewart was just about to pull away and park his car in the garage at the rear of his home after dropping his wife off in front. While at a standstill in his automobile, Stewart mistook the officers for a gang of robbers. Fearing for his safety he drew his gun and fired 8 rounds at the policemen. Officer Morrell then yelled at Stewart, “We’re Detectives” and Stewart stopped shooting saying, “Great God! I was sure you were holdup men.” Officer Perren was shot four times and was hit in the head and chest near the heart. The other rounds struck Officers Van Booven in the right arm and Warburten was struck in the left arm. Officer Perren was rushed to Auburn Park Hospital where he died the same day. Officers Van Booven and Warburten were also taken to Auburn Park Hospital where they were treated and eventually recovered. Stewart was taken to the station where he made a statement and was released without charges.
An investigation by Detective William Schoemaker resulted in the finding that the incident was a direct result of the many holdups that had previously occurred in the area causing the residents to become fearful. On December 1, 1924, Hugh A. Stewart was exonerated by the Coroner.
Officer Perren was laid to rest on December 3, 1924 in Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery, 2755 West 111th Street, Chicago, Illinois.
Patrolman William A. Perren, born February 8, 1896, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on October 27, 1922.
Officer Perren was survived by his wife, Edith (nee Todd) and son, Edward Anthony.
Incident recorded under Chicago Police Historical Homicide Database, Case #6855.