Chief of Police
John Leroy Ellis
Alexandria Police Department
Monday, March 6, 1911

Age: 33
Served: 5 years
Badge #:
Panel 54W, Line 4
Panel L18, Line 8

Incident Details

Cause of Death:
Date/Time of Incident:
Sunday, March 5, 1911
12:30 am
Incident to Death Duration:
1 day
Incident Location:
903 West Adams Street, Alexandria
Incident County:
Incident Township:
Weapon Used:
Suspect Disposition:
• Released in 1936
• Discharged in 1920
Burial Place:
IOOF Cemetery, Alexandria

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   Chief of Police John Ellis died from wounds he suffered the previous day after being shot while attempting to arrest a robbery suspect.

   While an accomplice stood across the street, another subject entered the Alexandria Loan Company with a red handkerchief over his face and commanded the owner, who complied, to turn over the day's receipts of $30.

   Patrolman Virgil Kirkman and another officer responded after being alerted to the robbery by a customer leaving the store. As Patrolman Kirkman entered the store with his gun holstered, the 28-year-old suspect shot him through the head without warning. Patrolman Kirkman later died in a hospital.

   The 30-year-old accomplice was arrested shortly after the robbery and refused to cooperate with authorities. The suspect fled the scene to his parent's home, where Chief Ellis was mortally wounded while attempting to arrest the suspect and died from his injuries the next day at Alexandria Hospital.

   After escaping, the suspect had his wounded arm tended to by a doctor in Orestes and started walking toward Frankton. He was found asleep in a nearby barn after several posses had formed to search for him.

   The accused were moved five days later from the city jail and held in Anderson for fear that a lynching would take place. Both suspects were later sentenced to life in prison.

   The shooter had his sentence commuted to 25 years by Governor Harry G. Leslie and released in 1936. The accomplice was granted parole by Governor James P. Goodrich and discharged in 1920.

   Chief of Police Ellis was survived by his wife, 3-year-old son, 7-year-old daughter, four brothers, three sisters and parents.

Historical Note

• This incident was one of 24 which resulted in the line of duty deaths of two officers.

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