connor trooper 101821LOCKPORT – State Senator John Connor (D-Lockport) attended a highway dedication Monday morning to memorialize a local fallen state trooper.

“Our first responders take a tremendous risk every day when they put on their uniforms and go to work—a risk that very few people can appreciate fully,” Connor said. “Trooper Warner was courageous and selfless in his duty, and he made the greatest sacrifice for a community that still feels his loss even half a century later.”

A veteran of the Battle of Okinawa, Trooper Richard G. Warner was shot to death at the Illinois State Police Headquarters District 5 in Lockport on April 21, 1969 after responding to a traffic incident where a fellow Navy combat veteran had attempted to kill himself. The man had been hospitalized two years prior for what was then called a "nervous breakdown."  Trooper Warner took the man into custody at the District 5 headquarters, where the man then grabbed another trooper's handgun from a desk and fired two shots, fatally wounding Trooper Warner and injuring another. The man then turned the gun on himself.

“It meant the world to our family to hear this resolution read on both the Senate and House floors, and to attend today’s dedication ceremony. I am impressed by the steps that Senator Connor, Governor Pritzker and the Illinois State Police have taken to memorialize my father and all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty,” said Sharon Warner Hare, Trooper Warner’s daughter. “Fifty-two years ago I heard the bagpipes play Amazing Grace and listened to taps at my father’s funeral and cried. Today I listened to the bagpipes and taps and cried again. But this time, it felt healing knowing that so many people had come together to honor and remember my father.”

The stretch of Route 53 that passes by Illinois State Police Headquarters District 5 will now be designated Trooper Richard G. Warner Memorial Highway. This dedication comes as the result of Senate Joint Resolution 8, sponsored by Connor in the spring of 2021.

“My family appreciates the many hands that have come together to remember my grandfather and the sacrifice he made,” said Amber Franklin, Trooper Warner’s granddaughter. “Today we witnessed the power of a grateful community firsthand.”

The full resolution can be accessed on the Illinois General Assembly website.


PHOTO ATTACHED: State Senator John Connor (D-Lockport) attended a highway dedication Monday morning to memorialize fallen State Trooper Richard G. Warner. Photo, left to right: Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow, Illinois State Police Brendan Kelly, State Senator Meg Loughran Cappel (D-Shorewood), Assistant Majority Leader Natalie Manley (D-Joliet), Thomas Warner, Stephen Warner, Janis Warner McTee, Sharon Warner Hare, State Senator John Connor (D-Lockport), State Representative Dagmara Avelar (D-Bolingbrook).