Incident DetailsCause of Death:
Probation Officer Thomas Gahl was shot and killed while making contact at a residence in Indianapolis of a newly-released probationer with a life-long history of mental illness.
The purpose of the visit was to have obtained a urine specimen to determine whether the probationer had been taking drugs. Before Probation Officer Gahl could do so, he was struck with three shotgun blasts by the offender in an unprovoked attack.
Probation Officer Gahl, like other officers in his district at that time, was not armed.
While being pursued during the 11-day manhunt that followed, the offender's crime spree included killing two men, a 45-year-old store owner in Indianapolis and a 47-year-old motorist in St. Peters, Missouri, as well as several kidnappings.
On October 1, the 41-year-old offender became the 406th entry of the FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives and the following day, he was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted shotgun wound in an abandoned barn southwest of Wright City, Missouri.
Probation Officer Gahl, from Indianapolis, was assigned to the Indianapolis Division of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.
He had previously served with the Indiana Department of Correction at the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City and the Federal Bureau of Prisons at the United States Penitentiary in Terre Haute.
Probation Officer Gahl was survived by his wife, two young sons, brother and mother.
United States Marine Corps
• On June 24, 1994, the Thomas E. Gahl United States Probation Office was dedicated at the Indianapolis headquarters in his honor.