Sheriff Mark Read

Sheriff Mark Read

Gilchrist County Sheriff's Office, Florida

End of Watch Sunday, December 9, 1956

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Mark Read

Sheriff Read was met with a shotgun blast as he stepped out of his car at a rural residence eight miles north of Bell. He went there to investigate a complaint from neighbors who said the 60 year-old home owner was drunk and terrorizing people with a gun. Sheriff Read was able to call for help and drove away from the home. A short distance away he was found by a local citizen after he drove into a ditch. He died at the hospital several hours later.

The suspect was taken into custody by Florida State Troopers at his home. He was convicted of first degree murder and executed in the electric chair June 1, 1959.

Sheriff Read was survived by his wife and two children.


  • Age Not available
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Shotgun
  • Offender Executed in 1959

Most Recent Reflection

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I was a nine (9) year-old boy and this incident happened on a Sunday. Church had ended and everyone was standing outside the church. Suddenly, the local ambulance stopped by the church for a reason that remains unknown. we later learned that Sheriff Read had been shot and was being transported to the hospital in nearby (30 miles) Gainesville. The ambulance was being driven by Mrs. Nell Dodson, whose family operated the local funeral home - and ambulance service. I can only speculate that she stopped in hopes of having a doctor or nurse attend to the Sheriff. As quickly as she arrived, she soon left, driving emergency with lights and siren. We later learned that afternoon that Sheriff Read had passed away from his injuries.

Michael A. Watson, Age 72, civilian
No agency or familial relationship.

November 26, 2019

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