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Sheriff John L. Wormell | Asotin County Sheriff's Department, Washington Asotin County Sheriff's Department, Washington


John L. Wormell

Asotin County Sheriff's Department, Washington

End of Watch: Wednesday, August 5, 1931

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 72

Tour: 35 years

Badge # 1

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Gun; Unknown type

Offender: Sentenced to life

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Sheriff John Wormell was shot and killed after he and a deputy responded to a report of a burglary in a store at the intersection of 2nd Street and Cleveland Street at 1:15 am. The store owner had opened the door to the store and, along with the sheriff, entered the business.

The store owner proceeded down one aisle as Sheriff Wormell proceeded down the other. As Sheriff Wormell passed by a barrel the suspect, a 12 year-old boy, who was hiding behind it, fired a single shot from a .32 caliber pistol he had previously stolen. The shot struck Sheriff Wormell in the head, killing him instantly. The other deputy then took the boy into custody.

The boy was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison at Walla Walla State Prison. He was pardoned by the Governor at the request of Father Flannagan of Boy's Town after serving 10 years.

Sheriff Wormell had served with the Asotin County Sheriff's Department for 35 years and also served as an elected representative to the state legislature. He was survived by his wife, three sons, and daughter.

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