Sheriff
Gerald Lee Uptegraft
Blackford County Sheriff's Department
Wednesday, June 22, 1949

Age: 42
Served: 1 year, 6 months
Badge #: 501
Military Service: U.S. Navy
• World War II
Panel 50E, Line 25
Included

Incident Details

Cause of Death:
Gunfire
Date/Time of Incident:
Monday, June 20, 1949

Incident to Death Duration:
2 days
Incident Location:

Incident County:
Blackford
Incident Township:

Weapon Used:
.22-caliber rifle
Suspect Info:
Shot and killed
Burial Location:
Hartford City Cemetery, Hartford City

   Sheriff Gerald Uptegraft died from wounds he suffered two days earlier after being shot when called to a home where a young man was drunk and threatening to kill his ex-girlfriend and then himself. The man's mother called Sheriff Uptegraft as he and the man knew each other.

   When Sheriff Uptegraft arrived at the scene he was immediately confronted by the man, who held him at bay with a .22-caliber rifle. As Sheriff Uptegraft attempted to talk the man into putting the rifle down, the man left the house. The sheriff took the opportunity to call other deputies and the city police chief to the home for assistance.

   Before the assistance arrived the man re-entered the home and again held Sheriff Uptegraft at gunpoint. As the other officers arrived at the scene they entered the home and were immediately fired upon by the suspect. The suspect then shot and wounded Sheriff Uptegraft before being shot several times and killed.

   Sheriff Uptegraft had been re-elected sheriff to his second, but unserved term. He was a recipient of a Purple Heart. Sheriff Uptegraft was survived by his wife, son, mother, brother and sister.