Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 6 months, 7 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: 11th District - Fillmore
District of Incident (Present Day): 010 - Ogden
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 31
Date of Birth: 25 Nov 1941
Date of Appointment: 19 Feb 1973
Date of Incident: 010 - Ogden
End of Watch: 26 Aug 1973
Date of Interment: 01 Sep 1973
Cemetery: Washington Memorial Cemetery - Homewood, Illinois
Grave Location: Unknown
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # D-6
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 1
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 3, Line 26
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 33-E: 6
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: U.S. Air Force
Incident & Biographic Details
Probationary Patrolman Thomas J. Adams, Jr., Star #2210, aged 31 years, was a 6 month, 7 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to Unit 044 – Recruit Training, detailed to the 11th District – Fillmore.
On August 26, 1973, at 4:25 a.m., Marquette District officers responded to a call of shots fired in the 3300 block of West Douglas Boulevard. Responding officers canvassed the area and during the canvass the came to 3339 West Douglas Boulevard and discovered a body on the front porch of the home. A .38 caliber revolver was found at the scene and was later identified as the murder weapon. Further investigation revealed that the body was that of Officer Adams. Adams’ gun, wallet and car keys were missing. Detectives traced the weapon they found to Darryl R. “Doc“ Smith, age 27, of 137 North Mayfield Avenue. According to Adams’ brother, Joe, Thomas had joined the police department because of his concern over street crime in the city and had recently asked for a transfer because he felt that he was not able to fulfill his obligations as a policeman at his current post. Joe also stated that Officer Adams, while off duty, was at the Starfire Lounge at Grenshaw Street and Homan Avenue with his sister on the night of August 25, 1973. Officer Adams had pointed out two women in the lounge that he had previously arrested for prostitution. At 2:30 a.m., he was observed leaving with the two women he had pointed out according to witnesses. The women got into Adams’ car and they drove away.
It was believed that Officer Adams had dropped the two women off at an unknown location and while he was driving his car he observed a disturbance at 3339 West Douglas Boulevard. When he heard gunfire, Officer Adams parked his car and ran to the scene to investigate. At this point, Darryl R. Smith, involved in the dispute pulled out a .38 caliber revolver and fired again, striking Officer Adams. He collapsed to the porch floor where he would later be found by responding officers. Officer Adams was shot three times, once to the left forearm and once to the left side of his neck, once six inches above his left hip. He was transported to Mount Sinai Hospital by beat 1370 where he was pronounced dead on arrival by Dr. Yu at 4:45 a.m. on August 26, 1973.
After a manhunt, Smith surrendered to Wentworth Robbery Detectives on August 28, 1973 without incident. Smith was charged with Murder. On August 29, 1973, the charge of murder was dropped at the preliminary hearing for no probable cause.
Officer Adams was waked at A. R. Leak Funeral Home located at 7838 South cottage Grove Avenue. He was laid to rest on September 1, 1973 in Washington Memorial Cemetery, 701 Ridge Road, Homewood, Illinois.
Probationary Patrolman Thomas J. Adams, Jr., born November 25, 1941, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on February, 19, 1973 and was in Recruit Class 73-1C at the O’Brien Street Police Academy.
Officer Adams served in the U.S. Air Force from September 7, 1960, was a veteran of the Vietnam War and was Honorably Discharged at the rank of Senior Airman. He was survived by his wife, Dorothy; sons: Daryl, age 4 and Mark, age 2 and parents: Ophelia (nee Price) and Thomas J., Sr.
Incident Recorded Under Chicago Police Department RD #N376233.
On May 21, 1998, Officer Adams’ star was retired by Superintendent Terry G. Hillard and enshrined in the Superintendent’s Honored Star Case, located in the lobby at Chicago Police Headquarters, 1121 South State Street. In 2000, Chicago Police Headquarters moved to a new facility at 3510 South Michigan Avenue, Officer Adams’ Star was re-encased in the new headquarters building lobby.