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Chief William Henry Armsey | Olney Police Department, Illinois Olney Police Department, Illinois


William Henry Armsey

Olney Police Department, Illinois

End of Watch: Sunday, July 28, 1940

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 57

Tour: 15 years

Badge # 1

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Shotgun

Offender: Sentenced to 35 years

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Chief William Armsey was shot to death and the Richland County sheriff was seriously wounded as they attempted to arrest a man who was wanted for assaulting another officer.

The suspect had severely beaten a deputy sheriff who had been assigned to guard the suspect's estranged wife whom he had previously threatened. According to reports, the officers went to the suspect's mother's house to make the arrest. Although the suspect resisted at first, he was quickly handcuffed. At that point, he asked the officers if he could go in the house to get a clean shirt. Once inside, the suspect appeared at a window holding a shotgun and yelled a threat to both officers.

Chief Armsey, who had lost his pistol in the scuffle with the suspect, was shot at point-blank range and died instantly. The sheriff, who was not armed, ran to the back door of the suspect's house, but was wounded when he tried to enter and grab the suspect from behind.

The suspect was arrested without incident a short time later by a state police officer, taken to the Newton County Jail as a precaution against mob violence and charged with first-degree murder. On December 18, 1940, the suspect was convicted of murder and sentenced to 35 years.

Chief Armsey had served with the Olney Police Department for 15 years. He was survived by his wife and three children.

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Chief Armsey's story was read in Richton Park Police Department's roll call on 9-23-17 to remember and honor him.

Sgt. James Galvan
Richton Park Police
September 23, 2017


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