Officer Louis T. Gormley:
Badge # 55
On Aug. 23, 1898, Officer Louis T. Gormley joined the chase of a man (Thomas F. Stratton) wanted for failure to support his wife and child. Mr. Stratton had been placed under arrest for the same charge on August 12, 1898, but had escaped from the arresting officers and up to August 23, 1898 was a fugitive from justice.
Officer Frank Pierce and Capt. Francis Edson located Mr. Stratton in a meadow bordering Melville St. The officer who fired the fatal bullet was not the only officer to have fired his gun, Captain Edson who was unable to run because of a recent injury to his leg, had discharged his revolver in the air, exclaiming as he did so, “Shoot ,Shoot”. This was found to be that Edson intended to frighten Stratton, and had no connection to the discharge of officer Pierce’s weapon. Officer Gormley drawn by the warning shots was approaching Stratton from the opposite direction.
They then continued to chase Stratton, who while attempting to escape fell in the meadow. Officer Pierce fell over the same obstruction as Stratton. In falling Officer Pierce’s firearm discharged and the charge struck officer Gormley, entering the left breast above the heart, inflicting a mortal wound.
Officer Gormley was 30 years of age. An investigation was conducted by the district attorney’s office and all officers involved were exonerated. On August 31, 1898 Justice McDonough of the Second District Court, determined that all officers had properly followed the circumstances of the law in the discharge of their weapons.
Officer Gormley was nominated and approved for inclusion on the National Law Enforcement Wall in Washington, D.C. This will take place on May 13, 2012.