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Sheriff Avis Madison Dutcher | Warren County Sheriff's Department, Indiana Warren County Sheriff's Department, Indiana


Avis Madison Dutcher

Warren County Sheriff's Department, Indiana

End of Watch: Saturday, September 18, 1926

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 41

Tour: 3 years, 6 months

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Handgun; .32 caliber

Offender: Committed suicide

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Sheriff Avis Dutcher was shot and killed while attempting to take a subject into custody in downtown Williamsport.

Sheriff Dutcher met up with a subject who was on parole and had an outstanding speeding warrant at 11:30 pm. While the two were conversing, Marshal Brier appeared and was asked by the sheriff to search the suspect for any weapons, to which none were found. As the three walked to a nearby law office, the suspect began protesting and pointed the barrel of an undiscovered .32-caliber French automatic revolver through his trousers at the officers demanding that they go to the lawyer's residence to resolve the fine.

They walked a short distance to the suspect's vehicle and after all three got into the front seat, Sheriff Dutcher grabbed the suspect and a struggle ensued. The suspect was able to free himself from Sheriff Dutcher and fell out of the vehicle to the ground after being struck on the wrist by the marshal's club. At this point, several shots were fired by the suspect into the vehicle, striking Sheriff Dutcher in the abdomen and arm, which penetrated his heart and caused his death moments later.

As the suspect fled the scene on foot, two shots were fired by the marshal with one striking the suspect, who continued to flee. A large manhunt by police and citizens covering numerous nearby counties and into Illinois could not locate the suspect. On September 23, the suspect's body was located by a citizen behind a freight depot with a second gunshot wound that was determined to be self-inflicted.

Sheriff Dutcher had served with the Warren County Sheriff's Department for 3½ years, nearing the end of his second two-year term. He was survived by his wife, three daughters, two sons, parents, three sisters and three brothers.

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Rest in Peace, Sheriff Dutcher. Your sacrifice is not forgotten.

Officer 11169
April 6, 2013


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