Bio & Incident Details
Tour: 1 year, 8 months
Badge # 47
Incident Date: 5/25/1937
Weapon: Rifle; Automatic
Offender: Executed in 1938
Trooper Paul Minneman was shot and killed while searching for members of the Brady Gang, wanted in connection with the armed robbery of the Goodland State Bank in Newton County and previously for the murders of two other police officers.
Trooper Minneman and a Cass County deputy sheriff were parked on the side of a road when a car passed and shots were fired at them. The two officers gave chase and lost sight of the vehicle. As the officers stepped out of their vehicle at a small rural church in White County to look for tire tracks, they were met by automatic rifle fire by the hiding suspects, striking both officers. Trooper Minneman was shot over 20 times and succumbed to his wounds two days later. Although seriously wounded, the deputy survived.
In October, two of the suspects were shot and killed in a shootout in Bangor, Maine. The third suspect was captured and convicted of murder and bank robbery under federal law and sentenced to death. On November 18, 1938, he was executed by electrocution at the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City.
The Brady Gang was also responsible for the murder of Officer Richard Rivers of the Indianapolis Police Department on April 27, 1936. Although never proven, they were also suspected of murdering Officer Frank Levy of the Anderson Police Department on November 25, 1935.
Trooper Minneman had served with the Indiana State Police for over 1½ years and was assigned to the Lafayette post. He was survived by his wife, unborn daughter, sisters and parents. In 1987, Trooper Minneman was posthumously awarded the agency's Gold Star Award for Valor for his extraordinary heroism.