Deputy Sheriff
John M. Cleary
Vigo County Sheriff's Department
Saturday, April 9, 1892

Age: 48
Served: 23 years
Badge #:
Panel 28W, Line 6
Panel L15, Line 7

Incident Details

Cause of Death:
Gunfire
Date/Time of Incident:
Friday, June 8, 1877

Incident to Death Duration:
14 years, 305 days
Incident Location:
5th and Ohio streets, Terre Haute
Incident County:
Vigo
Incident Township:
Harrison
Weapon Used:
Revolver
Suspect Disposition:
Apprehended
Burial Place:
Saint Joseph Cemetery, Terre Haute

   Deputy John Cleary died from a gunshot wound he suffered nearly 15 years earlier when he was shot by a burglary suspect.

   Deputy Cleary had apprehended the man at his home and had arranged for the man to return the stolen money to the grocery store that was burglarized. When he let the man go into his home to get the money the man also slipped a revolver into his pocket.

   As the two men approached 5th and Ohio streets the suspect opened fire, striking Deputy Cleary in the chest and abdomen. He was taken home but doctors were unable to remove the bullet. Deputy Cleary made a slow recovery and returned to duty.

   The following May, Deputy Cleary and other officers located the original shooting suspect in a home at 5th and Eagle streets. As Deputy Cleary attempted a second arrest the man shot him in the leg and head but he was able to take the suspect into custody.

   His health continued to deteriorate until his death on April 9, 1892.

   Deputy Cleary served as sheriff from 1883 to 1887. He was survived by his wife and son.

Historical Note

• Deputy Cleary has the third-longest incident to line of duty death duration in Indiana.



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Deputy Sheriff John M. Cleary - Vigo County Sheriff's Department - INLEM.org