Incident Summary:

1/1/1970: Unknown African American assailants fired several bullets at police headquarters in Cairo, Illinois, United States. There were no casualties, however, one bullet narrowly missed several police officers. This attack took place during heightened racial tensions, including a Black boycott of White-owned businesses, in Cairo Illinois.



United States

North America

region/u.s. state:



Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Armed Assault
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Police
Name of Entity Cairo Police Department
Specific Description Cairo Police Headquarters
Nationality of Target United States
Additional Information
Hostages No
Ransom No
Property Damage Yes
Extent of Property Damage Minor (likely < $1 million)
Value of Property Damage Unknown
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Firearms Unknown Gun Type
Weapon Details
Several gunshots were fired.
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Additional Information The Cairo Chief of Police, William Petersen, resigned as a result of the attack.
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Black Nationalists No
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators Unknown
Number of Captured Perpetrators Unknown
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 0 Fatalities / 0 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 0
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 0
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
"Police Chief Quits," Washington Post, January 2, 1970.
"Cairo Police Chief Quits; Decries Local 'Militants'," Afro-American, January 10, 1970.
Christopher Hewitt, "Political Violence and Terrorism in Modern America: A Chronology," Praeger Security International, 2005.