Incident DetailsCause of Death:
Patrolman Walter Garrison was shot and killed when he and the police chief were called to assist a disabled motorist in Circleville.
The officers responded to a residence whose owner had reported a vehicle was stuck in the mud at his driveway's entrance. While being questioned, the driver entered his vehicle on the pretense he was retrieving a jack, but displayed an automatic pistol.
He fired three times, striking Patrolman Garrison in the heart and right side of his chest before he fell into a nearby ditch and died. As the suspect fled the scene, the police chief was unable to return fire because the home's residents were present.
The officers were unaware that the 19-year-old suspect had stolen the vehicle in Indianapolis two days earlier and had committed an armed robbery of a grocery store in Brookville that evening. After an intense search by authorities and local citizens, the suspect was captured the following morning in the area and confessed to these crimes.
He also confessed to shooting at an Indianapolis police officer and committing some 30 armed robberies in Indiana, West Virginia and Cincinnati, Ohio, during his six-month crime spree. On February 14, 1931, he was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison, where he later died.
Patrolman Garrison was survived by his 7-year-old son, two brothers and a half sister.
United States Army