Lieutenant
Robert C. Atwell
Marion County Sheriff's Department
Tuesday, November 7, 1972

Age: 38
Served: 17 years, 6 months
Badge #: 19
Panel 37W, Line 11
Panel L1, Line 5

Incident Details

Cause of Death:
Gunfire
Date/Time of Incident:
Thursday, November 2, 1972
11:55 pm
Incident to Death Duration:
5 days
Incident Location:
3515 Dogie Road, Indianapolis
Incident County:
Marion
Incident Township:
Wayne
Weapon Used:
.357-caliber handgun
Suspect Disposition:
Died at the scene
Burial Place:
West Newton Cemetery, Indianapolis

   Lieutenant Robert Atwell was shot and killed at the scene of a domestic disturbance in the Pondarosa Mobile Home Court in Indianapolis.

   He was responding to assist one of his brothers, a corporal, assigned to the call. He was first to arrive and as he exited his patrol car, was shot in the head by the husband who was at the trailer of his estranged wife and 4-year-old daughter.

   Lieutenant Atwell was transported to Marion County General Hospital where he died without regaining consciousness five days later. An Indianapolis police officer was also wounded during the incident.

   The 33-year-old suspect was killed in the exchange of gunfire, but it was undetermined whether he was shot by responding officers or if his head wound was self-inflicted. 

   Lieutenant Atwell was survived by his wife, two daughters, six brothers, two sisters and mother. Two of his brothers served with the Marion County Sheriff's Department.

Military Service


United States Army
Korean War


The responsibilities of the Marion County Sheriff's Department – Law Enforcement Division (1822–2006) are now under the jurisdiction of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.


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Lieutenant Robert C. Atwell - Marion County Sheriff's Department - INLEM.org