Incident DetailsCause of Death:
Patrolman Willard VanHorn was shot and killed while attempting to arrest a suspect who had robbed a service station and abducted the attendant in Muncie earlier in the day.
A detective from the Muncie Police Department went to Elwood after learning one of the suspects may have gone there. The detective accompanied Patrolman VanHorn and another Elwood patrolman to a home where they believed the suspect was hiding.
The detective went to the front door and the two patrolmen went to the back door. As the patrolmen entered the house, a man immediately opened fire on them, mortally wounding Patrolman VanHorn who returned fire before dying at the scene.
The detective also returned fire, wounding the 23-year-old suspect who confessed before he died the following day and was a convict that had escaped a year earlier from the Oklahoma State Penitentiary.
The 17-year-old second suspect was arrested in Summitville and was later convicted of auto banditry for his part in the original robbery. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison where he died in 1935.
Patrolman VanHorn was survived by his wife, son, two daughters, father and stepmother.
United States Army