Town Marshal
Gustav Henry Schwacke
North Vernon Police Department
Wednesday, September 23, 1903

Age: 39
Served: 1 year, 6 months
Badge #:
Panel 16W, Line 25
Panel L21, Line 11 (2006)

Incident Details

Cause of Death:
Date/Time of Incident:
Wednesday, September 23, 1903
02:00 pm
Incident to Death Duration:
Same day
Incident Location:
6th Street near Hoosier Street, North Vernon
Incident County:
Incident Township:
Weapon Used:
Suspect Disposition:
Died by suicide
Burial Place:
Hillcrest Cemetery, North Vernon

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   Town Marshal Gustav Schwacke was shot and killed after responding to a domestic disturbance call.

   The suspect, who was under the influence of alcohol, had been quarreling with his wife and as the dispute escalated, he attempted to kill her with a knife. As she was fleeing toward a neighbor's house, a passer-by went to summon Marshal Schwacke in town.

   When Marshal Schwacke arrived to question the suspect, he was found sitting in his front yard, armed with a shotgun. As he approached further, the suspect took aim and shot Marshal Schwacke in the head and chest, killing him instantly.

   The 53-year-old suspect, a former state prison guard, went into his residence and then escaped out of the rear door towards a creek. Knowing that a posse was in pursuit, the suspect died by suicide with the same shotgun used to kill Marshal Schwacke.

   Town Marshal Schwacke was survived by his wife, son and daughter.

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