Sheriff Thomas Passmore

Sheriff Thomas Passmore

Inyo County Sheriff's Office, California

End of Watch Sunday, February 10, 1878

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Thomas Passmore

Sheriff Passmore was shot and killed while attempting to arrest a suspect who had murdered another man earlier that night. The suspect had gone to a saloon that was well known to be the hangout for outlaws. Sheriff Passmore arrived at the saloon and ordered the suspect to surrender.

When the suspect refused to come out the sheriff attempted to go into the saloon but his passage was blocked at the door. Someone inside the saloon then opened fire, shooting through the door and striking Sheriff Passmore in the chest, killing him.

Outraged citizens then opened fire on the saloon, firing hundreds of shots into it. The saloon owner attempted to escape out the back but was captured and shot to death by the mob. The suspect wanted for the original murder also attempted to escape and was killed the same way.

Sheriff Passmore had served as sheriff for 3 years.


  • Age Not available
  • Tour 3 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Shot and killed

Most Recent Reflection

View all 10 Reflections

Inyo County is not far from Reno. Thanks for your service to your county and to the State of California. In 1878, the law was tough to mete out in places like Inyo and your service and sacrifice says a lot about who you were. You exhibited courage and conviction despite the dangers. You honor us all.

Jim Lopey, Assistant Sheriff (Ret)
Washoe County Sheriff (Reno) and NVDPS

February 10, 2020

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