Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 22 years, 9 months, 3 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: District 4, 4th Precinct - Cottage Grove
District of Incident (Present Day): 001 - Central
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 55
Date of Birth: 27 Oct 1859
Date of Appointment: 02 Apr 1897
Date of Incident: 001 - Central
End of Watch: 05 Jan 1915
Date of Interment: 07 Jan 1915
Cemetery: Forest Home Cemetery - Forest Park, Illinois
Grave Location: Unknown
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # B-3
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 4
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 1, Line 45
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 45-E: 2
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: No Military Record Found
Incident & Biographic Details
Patrolman John B. Sausman, Star #953, aged 55 years, was a 22 year, 9 month, 3 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to District 4, 4th Precinct – Cottage Grove.
On January 5, 1915, at 1:25 a.m., Officer Sausman was working with his partner, Patrolman Dan Langan, when they stumbled upon a robbery in progress on the Southwest corner of 29th Street and Indiana Avenue. The officers had just turned onto Indiana Avenue from 29th Street when they observed two men, William F. “Bob” Mason and James O’Neil. Mason was going through a pedestrian’s pockets while O’Neil held a gun to the victim’s head. The officers cautiously approached the men and placed them under arrest. Unaware to the officers, Mason carried a concealed gun in his coat pocket. Mason pulled the trigger and Officer Sausman was struck in the temple. He fell to the ground and in the commotion the two men began to flee on foot. Officer Langan gave chase; following O’Neil unaware that it was Mason who fired the fatal shot. A running gun battle ensued and Officer Langan exchanged gunfire with O’Neil as he fled. Both men had to stop during the foot chase and reload their revolvers. Officer Langan was able to end the gunfight when he managed to wound O’Neil hitting him four times in the chest and abdomen. O’Neil was taken to Peoples Hospital where he died shortly after midnight on January 6, 1915.
On January 20, 1915 Mason was still at large and ordered held by the Coroner if and when arrested. It is unknown if he was ever apprehended.
Officer Sausman was waked at his residence located at 2941 West Lexington Street. He was laid to rest on January 7, 1915 in Forest Home Cemetery, 863 Desplaines Avenue, Forest Park, Illinois.
Patrolman John B. Sausman, born October 27, 1859, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on April 2, 1892.
Officer Sausman was survived by his wife, Nellie (nee Noonan) and son, Willis.
Incident recorded under Chicago Police Historical Homicide Database, Case #5078.