Incident DetailsCause of Death:
Officer John Wilson was shot and killed as he and two other officers were questioning two suspicious men in the Lafayette Life Building across the street from the Tippecanoe County Courthouse.
As the men exited the building, they opened fire and wounded Officer Wilson and the other two officers. A civilian at the scene picked up one of the officer's machine guns and returned fire, wounding both 29-year-old suspects.
Officer Wilson died from his wounds two days later at Saint Elizabeth Hospital.
Both men, and a third, 45-year-old man later apprehended near Monticello, were suspected of robbing two banks of $5,000 in Cullom, Illinois on June 3. One wounded suspect died the following day in the Tippecanoe County Jail.
The other wounded suspect survived and was charged with first-degree murder. In a death penalty case with a change of venue to Carroll County, he was found guilty of second-degree murder by a jury and sentenced to life in prison.
He was released on parole in 1945 and after Governor Harold W. Handley commuted his sentence in 1960, he was discharged.
Officer Wilson was single and survived by his mother.