On July 14, 1988, Officer Domagala responded to 7327 South Stony Island Avenue for a hostage situation, according to the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation. Police officers surrounded the property.
Officer Domagala, then age 37, took a defensive position at a corner of a garage. When he quickly looked around the corner at the house, the suspect at that split second fired his gun at him, and struck Officer Domagala in his forehead above his eye.
He was transported to Michael Reese Hospital, and underwent six hours of surgery. It is believed that his love for his family and the Chicago Police Department carried him through the next 29 years, after such a devastating injury.
Officer Domagala always had a dream to become a Chicago Police Officer, and he began his career in 1981. He was known to say “every day is something different, a new challenge.” He served in different divisions during his career, including the Gang Crimes South Unit and the Hostage, Barricade, Terrorist Unit (HBT).
He is survived by his wife Denise, and three sons, Erik, Craig, and Adam. On their website, the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation said, “Through it all, and thanks to the constant love and support from Denise, Erik, Craig and Adam, Bernie never lost his smile. We will remember him as a true hero. We will NEVER FORGET Chicago Police Officer Bernie Domagala.”
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Chicago Police Officer Bernie Domagala, both blood and blue. Godspeed, sir, we will take the watch from here. Thank you for your service.