Chief of Police Charles O'Neal

Chief of Police Charles O'Neal

Santa Rosa Police Department, California

End of Watch Monday, July 15, 1935

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Charles O'Neal

Chief Charles O’Neal was gunned down in his office by a 76 year old man for retaliatory reasons. Before the suspect was arrested he shot and critically wounded a rancher whom he held a grudge against.

The suspect told the county sheriff he was mad with Chief O'Neal for arresting him six years earlier for recklessly driving a team of horses through Santa Rosa and sending him to jail when he refused to pay the fine.

The suspect was convicted of first degree murder on September 21, 1935, and sentenced to life. He died in prison on February 26, 1943.

Chief O’Neal holds the tragic place in the department’s history as being the first Santa Rosa officer killed in the line of duty.


  • Age 39
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Died in prison

Most Recent Reflection

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Rest in peace Chief of Police O'Neal.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

November 30, 2021

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