Incident DetailsCause of Death:
Captain Frank Shea was shot and killed during an undercover operation with the Gary Police Department.
After a recent theft of $50,000 of freight from rail cars in Chicago, he was assigned to this area from his home in Passaic, New Jersey. During his investigation, he was able to lure two members of the suspected gang to accompany him to the U.S. Post Office in Gary under the guise of receiving a letter about an illegal liquor shipment.
Gary police officers were to make the apprehension upon the arrival of Captain Shea and the suspects. When the three men exited the vehicle in front of the post office and officers approached, Captain Shea drew his weapon to assist with the arrest. A Gary detective did not recognize him and opened fire, mistakenly wounding him.
Captain Shea made a statement exonerating the officer for shooting him before he died at Mercy Hospital. The coroner later ruled the action justifiable homicide after an inquest was held.
Both suspects were arrested. A 25-year-old man was later convicted on a federal charge and sentenced to seven years.
Captain Shea was survived by his wife, mother, sister and two brothers.
The responsibilities of the Erie Railroad Police Department (1832–1960) are now under the jurisdiction of the Norfolk Southern Railway Police Department.
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