William Patrick O'Malley
East Chicago Police Department
Monday, January 15, 1934

Age: 45
Served: 2 years
Badge #:
Panel 50E, Line 14
Panel L7, Line 4

Incident Details

Cause of Death:
Date/Time of Incident:
Monday, January 15, 1934
02:50 pm
Incident to Death Duration:
Same day
Incident Location:
720 West Chicago Avenue, East Chicago
Incident County:
Incident Township:
Weapon Used:
Thompson submachine gun
Suspect Disposition:
• Killed by police
• Killed by police
Burial Place:
Calvary Cemetery, Portage

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   Patrolman William O'Malley was shot and killed after responding to an armed robbery at the First National Bank of East Chicago.

   The robbery was being committed by three members of the Dillinger Gang. As the offenders were leaving the bank, shots were exchanged with officers by the suspects using Thompson submachine guns before they fled the scene with $20,376.

   Despite being mortally wounded, allegedly by John Dillinger, Patrolman O'Malley returned fire multiple times. Dillinger was uninjured as he was wearing a bullet-resistant vest. This was the first bank robbery committed by the Dillinger Gang in which a law enforcement officer was killed.

   John Dillinger, 30 and John 'Red' Hamilton, 34, were both indicted for first-degree murder in perpetration of a robbery on January 26, 1934. Hamilton was shot during a gunbattle with police in Hastings, Minnesota on April 23 and died three days later.

   Dillinger was captured in Tucson, Arizona on January 21 and extradited to Indiana where he would later make his infamous escape from the Lake County Jail on March 3. He was killed by FBI agents on July 22 in Chicago and although never convicted, this was the only murder charge ever filed against Dillinger. 

   Patrolman O'Malley was survived by his wife and three daughters.

Historical Notes

• The Dillinger Gang were involved in the line of duty deaths of five Indiana officers:
Indiana State Trooper Eugene Orville Teague – December 20, 1933
East Chicago Patrolman Francis Lloyd Mulvihill – May 24, 1934
East Chicago Patrolman Martin John O'Brien – May 24, 1934
South Bend Patrolman Howard C. Wagner – June 30, 1934

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