Sheriff Levi M. Parnell

Sheriff Levi M. Parnell

Whitman County Sheriff's Department, Washington

End of Watch Sunday, April 17, 1949

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Levi M. Parnell

Sheriff Levi Parnell, Deputy Gilbert Gallagher, and Officer Elbert Claar of the Pullman Police Department were shot by a suspect after the man fought with another man.

Officer Claar had spotted the man at a filling station and attempted to arrest him. As Officer Claar returned to his car to retrieve his nightstick, the man opened fire with a .22 caliber handgun, striking Officer Claar five times.

The suspect then drove to his house and grabbed a rifle with a scope before heading to a nearby hill. Deputy Gallagher responded to the residence and exited his cruiser. As he looked toward the house, the suspect shot him in the back and fired at another deputy who was able to get cover. The suspect then moved to another part of the hill near a college campus, where he shot and killed a civilian who was looking for him.

Sheriff Parnell and another deputy also responded to the scene, and as Sheriff Parnell exited his cruiser, he was shot once in the chest by the suspect. The suspect was finally surrounded and found hiding in bushes by a group of officers and citizens who opened fire, fatally wounding him.

Sheriff Parnell had served as the sheriff of Whitman County Sheriff's Department for 6 years and previously served as Chief of Police at Colfax Police Department. He was survived by his wife, son, daughter, and three brothers.


  • Age 60
  • Tour 6 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle
  • Offender Shot and killed

active shooter, arrest attempt, murder suspect

Most Recent Reflection

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Rest in peace always and know that no passage of time can ever erase your service and sacrifice.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

April 17, 2021

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