Chief of Police
John L. Ellis
Alexandria Police Department
Monday, March 6, 1911

Age: 33
Served: 5 years
Badge #:
Military Service:
Panel 54W, Line 4
Panel L18, Line 8

Incident Details

Cause of Death:
Gunfire
Date/Time of Incident:
Saturday, March 4, 1911

Incident to Death Duration:
2 days
Incident Location:

Incident County:
Madison
Incident Township:
Monroe
Weapon Used:
Revolver
Suspect Info:
Sentenced to life
Burial Location:
IOOF Cemetery, Alexandria

   Chief John Ellis died from wounds suffered two days earlier after being shot while attempting to arrest a robbery suspect.

   While an accomplice stood across the street, another subject entered the W.W. Miller Pawnshop on South Canal Street with a red handkerchief over his face and commanded the shop's owner to turn over the day's receipts of $30, who complied. Patrolman Virgil Kirkman and another officer responded after being alerted to the robbery by a customer leaving the store. As Patrolman Kirkman entered the store with his gun holstered, the suspect turned and shot the officer through the head without warning. Patrolman Kirkman later died in a hospital.

   The accomplice was arrested shortly after the robbery and refused to cooperate with authorities. The suspect fled the scene to his father's home, where Chief Ellis was mortally wounded while attempting to arrest the suspect and died from the injuries he suffered two days later in a hospital. After escaping, the suspect had his wounded arm tended to by a doctor in Orestes and started walking toward Frankton. He was found asleep in a nearby barn after several posses had formed to search for him.

   The accused were moved five days later from the city jail and held in Anderson for fear that a lynching would take place. Both suspects were later sentenced to life in prison.