Lest We Forget – Officer G.W. Murakami – September 9, 1968
OFFICER G.W. MURAKAMI Killed September 9, 1968
Story by John “Two Gun” Powers
On Monday, September 9, 1968 at 9:00 a.m., Officers G.W. Murakami and his partner responded to a call at 3236 W. 60th Street, re: “Nude man prowling and knocking on door.”
Officer Murakami, age 23, had just graduated from the Police Academy the previous Friday. He was one of the top ten recruits in a class of seventy-three. This Monday was just his second day of active duty.
3236 W. 60th Street was a twenty-one apartment, two story complex. Officer Murakami and his partner started across the open lawn toward the entrance to the complex. The partner spotted a man at the window of an apartment pointing a shotgun at them. He yelled to Murakami, “Watch it, heâ€™s got a gun!” Before Murakami could take any action, the 410-gauge shotgun was fired, the charge striking him in the face. He fell on the open lawn fifteen feet from the window. His partner ran to the radio car and put out a call for help and an ambulance for an officer who had been shot.
Officers Pettinato and Harama were among those responding to the call. They started down the hall leading to the suspectâ€™s apartment. The suspect opened the door and fired his shotgun at the officers. Confined in the narrow hallway, both officers were hit, Pettinato in the right arm and hand, Harama in the left shoulder and hand.
Meanwhile, Officer Murakami was moaning and asking for help. The suspect fired several shots forcing the officers to take cover. An Accident Investigation Division officer, Officer Woemper, and two motor officers, Officers Stevens and Walgreen ran to Murakami and carried him to cover behind a car parked at the curb.
At about the same time, two officers were in 77th Street Station when they heard the call that an officer had been shot. Both were members of SWAT. One was a “Class A” marksman. He had his 30.06 rifle in his locker. They drove to the scene and found the officers still pinned down. The officers had fired a dozen or so shots, but were unable to hit the suspect.
The “Class A” marksman watched, with rifle ready. The suspect popped up and fired another shot and quickly ducked down below the window. The marksman fired his rifle aiming at the stucco wall beneath the window where he figured the suspect would be. He figured correctly; one shot was all it took. He hit the suspect in the head. End of battle.
The fact that the suspect was killed with a 30.06 rifle received no publicity of any kind. Newspaper articles of the incident made no mention of how the suspect was killed, except to say that he was shot.
The suspect was Addison Edward Cash, age twenty-five. Besides the 410-gauge shotgun, he had a loaded .38 caliber revolver in his apartment, but had not fired it. He probably was suffering from a psychotic breakdown. A few hours earlier, clad only in a white tee shirt, he was banging on doors in the complex and asking the occupants if they had seen his girlfriend. He had been arrested in 1957 for three traffic warrants and in April 1961, for carrying a concealed weapon. On that charge, he was given a thirty-day jail term, fined $50.00 and placed on two yearsâ€™ probation. In 1964, he was arrested for drunk driving and that case had not been disposed of.
Officer Murakami died on the operating table one hour later.
Officer G.D. Woemper and Motor Officer Date Stevens and Timothy Walgreen of the Accident Investigation Division were awarded the Medal of Valor.