By Mai Martinez

(CBS) – Fifty years ago, two police officers were gunned down during a bank robbery. On Friday, the Northlake Police Department honored their bravery and heroism.

CBS 2’s Mai Martinez reports.

In a solemn ceremony, Northlake police recognized Sgt. John Nagle and Officer Anthony Perri, both of whom were killed while responding to a bank robbery on Oct. 27, 1967.

The bank robbers — Henry Gargano, Ronald Del Raine and Clifton Daniels — were heavily armed with guns and ammunition stolen from a National Guard armory.

Former CBS 2 reporter John “Bulldog” Drummond covered the story.

“They were ready for a big score, and when they came here, they expected trouble, and they were going to give it back,” Drummond says of the robbers.

When Nagle and Perri arrived, they were met with a hail of gunfire. Drummond calls it a “bloody shootout.”

“It only lasted about maybe about 90 seconds, but at least 80 rounds of ammunition were fired,” he says.

When the shooting stopped, two suspects and four officers were wounded.

Unveiling the memorial, Chief Norman Nissen praised Nagle and Perri for their bravery and heroism.

“These two officers and their two partners went to the bank with the intention of saving those people inside that bank, and they died for it,” he says.

For the officers’ surviving family members, the anniversary is a heartbreaking day they’ll never forget, and the memorial is a touching tribute that ensures their story will live on for generations to come.

“It certainly bring back a lot of terrible memories for me, but I’m also honored that the city of Northlake is honoring my husband,” Marlene Nagle Rakowski says.

“This is a great honor,” Ted Perri, son of the other slain officer, says.

The chief hopes the memorial will serve as a reminder to everyone of the ultimate sacrifice officers are willing to make to keep their communities safe.

Sgt. Nagle and Officer Perri are the only members of the Northlake Police Department killed in the line of duty.

The three robbers were sentenced to 199 years in prison; all died while incarcerated.

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