Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 2 years, 6 months, 18 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: 41st District - Rogers Park
District of Incident (Present Day): 018 - Near North
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 32
Date of Birth: 16 Jan 1901
Date of Appointment: 06 Jan 1931
Date of Incident: 018 - Near North
End of Watch: 24 Jul 1933
Date of Interment: 26 Jul 1933
Cemetery: Forest Home Cemetery - Forest Park, Illinois
Grave Location: Unknown
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # C-4
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 6
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 2, Line 35
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 30-E: 7
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: No Military Record Found
Incident & Biographic Details
Patrolman John George Sevick, Star #6576, aged 32 years, was a 2 year, 6 month, 18 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 41st District – Rogers Park.
On July 24, 1933, at 11:15 a.m., Officer Sevick, while inside the courtroom of Judge Charles E. Malthrop in the Criminal Court Building located at 54 West Hubbard Street. Court business was going on as usual. John Scheck, age 20 and Carl Grundhoefer were attending a hearing in which they received a continuance. They were being held on charges of murder and bank robbery in Niles Center. The two men had been transported from the jail to the courthouse for their hearing. Spending the day in the courthouse’s bull-pen, they were allowed to receive visitors. Scheck was visited by his sister Mary, age 22. Mary had brought in a concealed gun and after the hearing, she slipped the gun to Scheck through the prison bars. Deputy Sheriff John Kavanaugh had just unlocked the bull-pen door to begin the process of transporting the prisoners back to the jail. At this time Scheck produced his gun and overpowered the Deputy ordering him at gunpoint to lie down on the ground. After Kavanaugh lay down, Scheck and Grundhoefer ran past him in an attempt to gain their freedom. Entering Judge Malthrop’s courtroom the two men nonchalantly walked past the Judge’s bench. At the same time Sheriff’s Deputy Kavanaugh notified his fellow Deputies of the events that had transpired. Officer Sevick, sitting in the courtroom, intercepted the two prisoners just before they reached the outer door to the courtroom. Sevick ordered the men to halt, but was met by gunfire from Scheck’s gun. Two rounds from Scheck’s gun lodged into the wall of the packed courtroom. Officer Sevick was able to return fire but was mortally wounded. Sevick was struck two times in the chest near his heart and collapsed to the floor dyeing a few minutes later. The two men then ran out of the courtroom.
After the shooting, Scheck raced through the halls exchanging gunfire with pursuing officers using Grundhoefer as a human shield. He wound his way through the courthouse and was captured after attempting to kill Assistant State’s Attorney Charles Dougherty. Scheck was taken to the Bridewell Hospital with a gunshot wound to the back. Grundhoefer was also taken into custody and held as a party to the murder of Officer Sevick. Also held were John Scheck, Mark Scheck, Janet Haddon and John Soder. Incriminating evidence tying all of those in custody was the smuggled gun, which was discovered to be modified. The guns barrel had been shortened using a hacksaw, the missing piece found in the basement of the Scheck’s home.
The August Grand Jury did not bring a murder charge against Grundhoefer, nor did it deliver accessory charges on those held except for Rose Scheck. Rose Scheck stood trial, even though Mary Scheck had smuggled the gun. On September 15, 1933, Rose Scheck was found not guilty to accessory of murder. On July 24, 1933, John Scheck stood trial and was later was convicted of Patrolman Sevick’s murder. On August 31, 1933, he was sentenced to death by Judge Charles Molthrop and executed in the electric chair on April 20, 1934.
Officer Sevick was waked at his residence located at 7023 1/2 North Sheridan Road. His funeral mass was held at St. Jerome Roman Catholic Church located at 1709 West Lunt Avenue. He was laid to rest on July 26, 1933 in Forest Home Cemetery, 863 Desplaines Avenue, Forest Park, Illinois.
Patrolman John George Sevick, born January 16, 1901, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on January 6, 1931. He earned 1 Credible Mention during his career.
Officer Sevick was survived by his wife, Claire; parents: Mr. and Mrs. Michael Sevick and siblings: Ann, Joe and Michael, Jr.