Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 30 years, 8 months, 2 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: District 7 - South Chicago
District of Incident (Present Day): 004 - South Chicago
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 51
Date of Birth: 05 Apr 1872
Date of Appointment: 05 May 1893
Date of Incident: 004 - South Chicago
End of Watch: 07 Jan 1924
Date of Interment: 11 Jan 1924
Cemetery: Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery - Calumet City, Illinois
Grave Location: Lot 6, Block B-Mich
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # B-8
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 9
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 2, Line 9
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 61-E: 7
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: No Military Record Found
Incident & Biographic Details
Patrolman Vincent X. Skiba, Star #1707, aged 51 years, was a 30 year, 8 month, 2 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to District 7 – South Chicago.
On January 7, 1924, at 6:50 p.m., Officer Skiba was on patrol with his partner, Patrolman Joseph C. Lamb. The officers observed three men, Lucius Dalton, Eddie Duncan and Henry Wilson, at the corner of 79th Street and Merrill Avenue who was wanted for armed robbery. Officer Skiba and his partner attempted to arrest three robbery suspects and as they moved in the three men opened fire. Officer Skiba was incapacitated and mortally wounded collapsing to the ground. Officer Lamb was also struck, but was able to return fire as the men fled into the surrounding prairie. A priest, Father Henry Weber, assistant pastor at St. Philip Neri Roman Catholic Church had been passing by when the shooting occurred. He rushed to the side of Officer Skiba and administered his last rites. Officer Skiba was then rushed to South Shore Hospital, but died en route.
News of the shooting spread quickly. Under the direction of Chief of Detectives Michael Hughes, several squads of officers and together with friends of Officer Skiba scoured the streets in search of the bandits. One squad pulled alongside a streetcar, which one of the bandits was believed to riding on, and apprehended Eddie Duncan. Duncan quickly gave up his accomplices, naming Lucius Dalton and Henry Wilson. On January 10, 1924, Dalton and Wilson were arrested. All three men gave full confessions, were indicted, stood trial and found guilty. On February 18, 1924, Dalton and Wilson were sentenced to death on the gallows by Judge Caverly. On February 25, 1924, Duncan was sentenced to life in the Illinois State Penitentiary at Joliet by Judge Caverly. On April 18, 1924, Dalton and Wilson were executed by hanging at Cook County Jail.
Officer Skiba was waked at Joseph J. Sadowski Funeral Home and was laid to rest on January 11, 1924 in Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery, 801 Michigan City Road, Calumet City, Illinois. His grave is located in Lot 6, Block B-Mich.
Patrolman Vincent X. Skiba, born April 5, 1872, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on May 5, 1893. He earned 6 Credible Mentions and 1 Extra Compensation for Meritorious Conduct totaling $180.00 during his career. On March 14, 1898, he was given a Civil Service promotion.
Officer Skiba was a member of the Chicago Policemen’s Benevolent & Welfare Association. He was survived by his wife, Tillie (nee Gondeck) and children: Alexander E. and Helen.
Incident recorded under Chicago Police Historical Homicide Database, Case #7468.