Walter Parejko

Born: 1880
Occupation: Carpenter
Killed: July 29th, 1919
Cause of death: Bullet Wound

Walter Parejko, a white man, was born in 1880 in Poland. After immigrating to the United States, Parejko settled in Chicago where he lived at 9250 S. Calumet Avenue with his wife Anna, also from Poland, and their children: Gertrude, Joseph, and Peter. In Chicago, Parejko worked as a carpenter for the Grand Trunk Railway, a railroad line that ran from Michigan through Chicago and throughout the Midwest. During the riots, Parejko was walking to work on 51st Street with Josef Maminaki, a colleague, when they came across a group of Black children named Ben Walker, William Stinson, and Charles Davis. A fight ensued and both Parejko and Maminaki were shot–with Parejko fatally wounded and Maminaki severely wounded. When the Black group was arrested later, Walker denied the shooting but, perhaps contradicting himself, also indicated where the weapon could be found. The Chicago Tribune wrote, regarding the case against the group, “a verdict of the special coroner’s jury appointed to investigate deaths resulting from the riots recommended that Ben Walker, William Stinson, and Charles Davis be held before the grand jury, charged with the murder of Walter Parejko.” The group eventually was given not guilty verdicts. Parejko died of his wounds on July 29 at the age of thirty-nine.

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