Incident DetailsCause of Death:
Trooper William Dixon died two days after being shot when he stopped to assist a disabled vehicle in LaPorte County.
While Trooper Dixon was transporting a traffic violator from an accident scene to the county jail, he came upon a disabled vehicle on Fail Road, one half-mile south of U.S. 20. As he exited his squad and approached the vehicle to ask if they needed assistance, one of the two men who were both members of the Easton Gang, opened fire and struck Trooper Dixon in the hand. As he attempted to draw his gun, the suspect continued shooting at him several times.
When two LaPorte County deputies saw a vehicle and the trooper's squad, they thought it was the accident scene they had also been dispatched to, but were met by the two suspects and kidnapped at gunpoint in their squad car. The traffic violator, who was left behind at the scene, drove Trooper Dixon to Holy Family Hospital in La Porte where he died two days later from his injuries.
The suspects released the two deputies on U.S. 41 near Cedar Lake in Lake County before fleeing into Illinois where they engaged in a gunbattle with police in Kankakee County. A 27-year-old man was killed and the other, who was wearing a bullet-resistant vest, was wounded. The 25-year-old man was extradited, convicted of murder and kidnapping, and sentenced to death. On June 3, 1939, he was executed by electrocution.
Trooper Dixon, from South Bend, was assigned to the Dunes Park post. He was survived by his fiancée, parents and sister.