Deputy Sheriff Joe Runions

Deputy Sheriff Joe Runions

Mercer County Sheriff's Department, North Dakota

End of Watch Thursday, April 3, 1941

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Joe Runions

Deputy Runions succumbed to a gunshot wound sustained the previous day while searching for stolen property on a farm. A representative from a bank that owned the stolen storm shudders had gone to the farm owned by the suspect. While searching a granary the suspect ordered them out and then opened fire with a .410 gauge shotgun, striking Deputy Runions in the face and the other man in the shoulder. The two men then attempted to take cover.

The suspect then obtained a .22 caliber rifle and shot the other man in the head as he ran from the granary, killing him. Deputy Runions took cover as the suspect continued firing and was not struck again. The suspect was arrested a short time later.

Deputy Runions was taken to a hospital in Bismarck where he died of his wounds the following day.

The 61-year-old suspect was convicted of two counts of murder and sentenced to life. He died in prison May 10, 1955.

Deputy Runions was survived by his 14-year-old daughter.


  • Age 44
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Wednesday, April 2, 1941
  • Weapon Shotgun; 410 gauge
  • Offender Died in prison

Most Recent Reflection

View all 3 Reflections

Your heroism and service is honored today, the 71rst anniversary year of your death. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service. My cherished son Larry Lasater was a fellow police officer who was murdered in the the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

Time never diminishes respect. Your memory will always be honored and revered.

Rest In Peace.

Phyllis Loya
Mom of fallen California Officer Larry Lasater, Pittsburg PD, eow 4/24/05

April 3, 2012

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