Incident DetailsCause of Death:
Sergeant Joseph O'Brien was shot and killed after encountering five men who had stolen merchandise from trains in the East Chicago rail yards.
As he and another officer began walking toward Cline Avenue after the train had moved out of the yard, they were confronted by the subjects. One of the men opened fire on them without warning with a sawed-off shotgun, striking Sergeant O'Brien in the face before the suspects fled the scene.
The other officer, who was shot in the arm and shoulder, was able to flag down a passing motorist near Industrial Highway and taken to the police station. An ambulance was sent to take Sergeant O'Brien to St. Catherine Hospital where he died.
Five men were subsequently arrested and charged. The 32-year-old shooter later pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to life in prison.
The four other offenders, ranging in age from 26 to 34, pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary and each were sentenced to three to 10 years. A 32-year-old offender died in prison in 1934.
Sergeant O'Brien, from East Chicago, was survived by his wife, sister and two brothers.
United States Marine Corps
The responsibilities of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Police Department (1828–1987) are now under the jurisdiction of the CSX Transportation Railroad Police Department.