Senator Connor
SPRINGFIELD – A resolution sponsored by State Senator John Connor (D-Lockport) to honor a local state trooper killed in the line of duty passed out of the Senate Tuesday.
“Trooper Richard G. Warner was an example of selfless duty, and his loss rocked a community,” Connor said. “All police officers, whether state troopers, sheriff's deputies, or local police departments, experience risks every day that few of us fully appreciate.”
A veteran of the Battle of Okinawa, Trooper Warner was shot to death at the Illinois State Police Headquarters District 5 in Lockport on April 21, 1969 after responding to a simple traffic accident where a fellow Navy combat veteran had attempted to kill himself. The driver had been hospitalized at the VA two years earlier for what was then called a "nervous breakdown."  After Trooper Warner left him in an office briefly in District 5 headquarters, the driver grabbed another trooper's handgun from a desk and fired two shots, fatally wounding Trooper Warner and injuring another trooper.
“If the driver that Trooper Warner was attempting to help had received comprehensive mental health treatment in 1967, prior to his suicide attempt, he and Trooper Warner might never have crossed paths on that fateful day,” Connor said. “We must do better for all our veterans so that they have access to the best mental health treatment available after experiencing the horrors of war."
The stretch of Route 52 that passes by Illinois State Police Headquarters District 5 will now be designated Trooper Richard G. Warner Memorial Highway, after the late Trooper Warner.