Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 17 years, 4 months, 9 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: District 2 - Cottage Grove
District of Incident (Present Day): 001 - Central
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 45
Date of Birth: 05 Oct 1878
Date of Appointment: 07 Mar 1907
Date of Incident: 001 - Central
End of Watch: 16 Jul 1924
Date of Interment: 22 Jul 1924
Cemetery: Westlawn Cemetery - Kansas City, Kansas
Grave Location: Unknown
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # B-8
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 20
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 2, Line 10
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 45-E: 5
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: No Military Record Found
Incident & Biographic Details
Patrolman James A. Williams, Star #942, aged 45 years, was a 17 year, 4 month, 9 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to District 2 – Cottage Grove.
On July 14, 1924, at 9:35 p.m., Officer Williams was on patrol when he observed four armed gunmen, Walter Harris, Charles Holis, Clarence Mitchell and Nathan Pauletto, robbing the home of Mrs. Flora Davis located at 2819 South Wabash Avenue. As Officer Williams arrived on scene Nathan Pauletto opened fire striking the officer six times, four in the back and two in his side. The robbers then began to flee the scene on foot. Officer Williams returned fire, as he fell to the ground, and wounded Nathan Pauletto striking him in the abdomen. Pauletto’s accomplices deserted him and continued to flee the scene. Officer Williams was rushed to Michael Reese Hospital where he succumbed to his wounds two days later on July 16, 1924. Pauletto was arrested and taken to the Bridewell Hospital where he was treated and recovered.
Sergeants Patrick Lee and Frank McNamara tracked down the other three bandits. They arrested Walter Harris of Bunker Street (present day Grenshaw Street), as a suspect. During questioning Harris admitted to the robbery but denied shooting. He gave the names of his accomplices, Holis, Mitchell and Pauletto. Charles Holis and Clarence Mitchell were later arrested and stood trial with Pauletto and Harris. On November 12, 1924, all four suspects were found guilty and sentenced to life in the Illinois State Penitentiary at Joliet by Judge Wells.
Officer Williams was laid to rest on July 22, 1924 in Westlawn Cemetery, 628 South 38th Street, Kansas City, Kansas.
Patrolman James A. Williams, born October 5, 1878, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on March 7, 1907. He earned 2 Credible Mentions during his career.
Officer Williams was survived by his wife, Veda.
Incident recorded under Chicago Police Historical Homicide Database, Case #7470.