Incident DetailsCause of Death:
Deputy Sheriff Edward Byrne was shot and killed while responding to a report of suspicious activity at the Hilltop Tavern that was later found to have been burglarized.
Upon his arrival, he stopped a vehicle that was leaving the parking lot. After speaking with the three male occupants, he returned to his patrol car when he was shot seven times by one of the men who had exited the vehicle.
Deputy Byrne was known for wearing his campaign hat and as he sat in his patrol car, it was thought that its brim did not permit him to observe the suspect approaching him.
All three suspects had been released on bond the previous day for possession of stolen merchandise from a burglary in Muncie.
The 36-year-old shooter was captured two days later at a farmhouse near Bargersville. He was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death.
After being held in a mental hospital for eights years, a second trial ended with a hung jury and a third was declared a mistrial. In his fourth trial, he was sentenced to life in prison where he died in 1995.
The 33-year-old suspect was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison where he died in 1967. The third suspect was convicted of an unrelated robbery.
Deputy Sheriff Byrne was survived by his expectant wife and father.
United States Army
The responsibilities of the Marion County Sheriff's Department – Law Enforcement Division (1822–2006) are now under the jurisdiction of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.