Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 9 years, 11 months, 28 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: 1st Precinct - Twenty-Second Street Station
District of Incident (Present Day): 009 - Deering
Location of Occurrence:
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 37
Date of Birth: 1851
Date of Appointment: 18 Jul 1877
Date of Incident: 009 - Deering
End of Watch: 16 Jul 1887
Date of Interment:
Cemetery: Calvary Cemetery - Evanston, Illinois
Grave Location: Unknown
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # A-2
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 17
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 1, Line 21
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 18-E: 5
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: No Military Record Found
Incident & Biographic Details
Detective William S. Hallaran, Star #214, aged 37 years, was a 9 year, 11 month, 28 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 1st Precinct – Twenty-Second Street Station.
On July 16, 1887, at 7:00 p.m., Detective Hallaran and his partner, Detective Ryan set out after roll call to arrest Michael Lynch on a vagrancy warrant. Lynch was suspected of committing a burglary on July 15, 1892 and fleeing from the police. The Detective’s first went to Lynch’s house located at 28th Street and 5th Avenue (present day Wells Street). On testimony during the Coroner’s Inquest, Lynch’s mother stated that someone came into the house and told Michael Lynch that “Billy” Halloran was outside. Michael Lynch responded by saying, with an oath, that he “would kill Halloran if he came in his way.” Lynch then removed a revolver from his room and left the house. As Lynch left the house from a rear door, Detective Halloran spotted him. Detective Halloran quickly jumped on a passing streetcar, leaving his partner behind, and followed Lynch to 25th Street and Wentworth Avenue.
Detective Hallaran jumped off the streetcar and approached Lynch. As the detective was about to lay his hand on Lynch to arrest him, a child ran between the two men. During this momentary distraction, Lynch recognized the officer to be Detective Halloran and pulled out his .38 caliber bull-dog revolver. He fired at Detective Hallaran, striking him in the neck. The bullet entered from the front and lodged in his spinal column. Detective Hallaran then fell backwards onto the sidewalk as Lynch made good his escape. After hitting the ground, Detective Hallaran rolled over and fell into an areaway ten feet below. This fall paralyzed him from the neck down. Patrolman John McDonald of the Harrison Street Station was riding past in a streetcar at the time and heard the gunfire. He jumped off and was the first officer on scene, discovering Detective Hallaran lying on the ground unconscious.
Detective Hallaran was then transported to the 22nd Street Police Station in a patrol wagon. Once there Doctors Andrews and Steale were summoned and examined him. They reported that the detective’s wounds would prove fatal. Shortly thereafter Detective Hallaran regained consciousness and it was first discovered that he was paralyzed. It was decided that it was too dangerous to attempt to remove the bullet at the police station and Detective Hallaran was then transported to Michael Reese Hospital.
On July 16, 1887, after an extensive manhunt, Lynch was located less than an hour after Detective Lynch was taken to the hospital. He was found hiding at a friend’s house located at No. 2631 Shields Avenue (present day 6 East 103rd Street). The house was surrounded and Sergeant Ptack along with Patrolmen Corcoran, Michael O’Brien and Augustus J. Webber made entry. They located lynch standing at the door to the attic with revolver in hand. Thinking twice about firing, Lynch put down his gun and surrendered without incident. Lynch was brought to the hospital where a still conscious Detective Halloran identified him as the man who had shot him. After being identified, Lynch with a sullen expression on his face readily admitted to firing the shot. Lieutenant John D. Shea, who was present, asked Lynch why he shot the detective. Lynch replied that he had served time because of Halloran and wanted to be left alone. Detective Halloran underwent surgery to remove the bullet and died at 12:25 a.m. on July 17, 1892.
Michael Lynch was tried and convicted of murder. He was sentenced to 35 years hard labor in the Illinois State Penitentiary at Joliet. A year later he was found insane, sent to an asylum, and escaped. Lynch remained at large for 34 years. In July 1922, he was arrested for assault with intent to kill and was returned to prison in January of 1923. Michael Lynch died in November 1933.
In 1882, then, Patrolmen Hallaran and Leonard arrested Lynch for burglary. His testimony at the trial helped convict Lynch and send him to prison. During sentencing, Lynch was to receive a ten-year sentence but Officer Leonard spoke up and said that Lynch appeared to be dying from consumption and would hardly live out his sentence. The judge concurred and sentenced Lynch to four years for the burglary. Lynch served his four-year term and was released from prison. Ten months later Lynch would be confronted by Detective Halloran and murder him.
Detective Hallaran was waked at his residence located at No. 8705 Butterfield Street (present day 8705 South Perry Street). He was laid to rest in Calvary Cemetery, 301 Chicago Avenue, Evanston, Illinois.
Detective William S. Hallaran, born in 1851, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on July 18, 1877. He earned 1 Credible Mention during his career.
Detective Hallaran was survived by his wife, two children and parents.
Incident recorded under Chicago Police Historical Homicide Database, Case #881.