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Chicago officer dies of injuries suffered in 1988 shooting

Bernard "Bernie" Domagala was left with brain damage after he was shot in the line of duty 29 years ago

Duty Death: Bernie Domagala - [Chicago, Illinois]

End of Service: 09/05/2017


By Jeremy Gorner
Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO — Bernard "Bernie" Domagala, a former Chicago police officer who was left with brain damage after he was shot in the line of duty 29 years ago, died Tuesday as a result of his injuries. He was 66.

An autopsy performed Thursday showed Domagala died of complications from a bullet wound to his head, and his death was ruled a homicide, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.

"The City of Chicago has lost a true hero," the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation said in a statement about Domagala, a father of three sons who became a Chicago cop in 1981. "Despite the many challenges his life held for him since being injured, he never lost his love for the two most important things in his life: his family and the Chicago Police Department."

 

Chicago Police Officer Bernie Domagala End of Watch: 5 Sept 2017 The City of Chicago has lost a true hero. It is with...

Posted by Chicago Police Memorial Foundation-Official Page on Wednesday, September 6, 2017

On July 14, 1988, Domagala, then 37, was working as a member of the department's Hostage, Barricade and Terrorist unit when he was shot in the forehead as he and other officers surrounded a home in the 7200 block of South Stony Island Avenue. Domagala was shot by a former Chicago police officer who had barricaded himself inside the home after shooting a mover trying to evict him.

After Domagala was wounded, police fired at least 50 tear gas canisters into the home before the former officer, Tommie Lee Hudson, surrendered after an eight-hour standoff, waving a white flag on a stick.

At the time of the shooting, then-police Superintendent LeRoy Martin said, "I'm shocked that a former officer would do it. I'm dismayed."

Police said Domagala was shot when he peeked around a corner of the garage toward the home. He was then taken to Michael Reese Hospital and Medical Center, where he underwent about six hours of surgerysurgery to remove a lead ball, which was fired from a revolver, from a bone behind his ear.

Hudson was later charged with several crimes, including attempted murder, aggravated battery and armed violence. A psychiatrist later found Hudson to be mentally ill and he was committed to a state mental health facility. He died in the 1990s.

In a statement Thursday, First Deputy Superintendent Kevin Navarro said that "a part of Chicago was lost" with Domagala's death and that he'd never be forgotten.

"For nearly three decades he and his family bravely faced the challenges of his injuries up until his recent passing," Navarro said. "On behalf of the entire Chicago Police Department, we extend our deepest condolences to his loved ones for the loss of a true hero."

Mayor Rahm Emanuel also offered condolences to Domagala's family, saying his death is an example of the dangerous job that police officers face on the streets.

"The passing of Chicago police Officer Bernard Domagala is a tragic reminder of the danger our officers confront and the sense of dedication and duty in which they serve," Emanuel said in a statement. "Officer Domagala dreamed of being a Chicago police officer from a young age, and he served and sacrificed for the city he loved."

Domagala is survived by his wife, Denise, and his three sons, Erik, Craig and Adam, all of whom were young children when their father was shot.

A visitation for Domagala is scheduled for 3 to 9 p.m. Sunday at Blake Lamb Funeral Home, 4727 W. 103rd St. in Oak Lawn. His funeral is scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday at Queen of Martyrs Church, 10233 S. Central Park Ave. in Evergreen Park.

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©2017 the Chicago Tribune

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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