Chief of Detectives
William E. Dwyer
Terre Haute Police Department
Thursday, April 2, 1908

Age: 47
Served: 20 years
Badge #:
Panel 47W, Line 11
Panel L32, Line 3

Incident Details

Cause of Death:
Date/Time of Incident:
Thursday, April 2, 1908

Incident to Death Duration:
Same day
Incident Location:
33 South 3rd Street, Terre Haute
Incident County:
Incident Township:
Weapon Used:
.38-caliber handgun
Suspect Disposition:
Paroled in 1918
Burial Place:
Calvary Cemetery, Terre Haute

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   Chief of Detectives William Dwyer was shot and killed during a shootout in the Vigo County Courthouse.

   A defendant who had just been convicted of arson at two stores and a church in Sandford produced a gun and began firing, killing Chief of Detectives Dwyer and wounding three others. Other officers returned fire wounding the suspect.

   The 33-year-old suspect had dynamited the three businesses because the owners had exposed his illegal drinking establishment. His conviction came as a result of Chief of Detectives Dwyer's testimony.

   He was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to two to 21 years in prison. He was paroled in 1918.

   Chief of Detectives Dwyer was survived by his wife.

Historic Place

The Vigo County Courthouse, at 33 South 3rd Street in Terre Haute, was completed in 1888. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on June 30, 1983 and listed on the Indiana Register of Historic Sites and Structures on April 20, 1983.

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