Guard Frank L. Russell

Guard Frank L. Russell

Montana Department of Corrections - State Prison, Montana

End of Watch Saturday, January 22, 1938

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Frank L. Russell

Guard Frank Russell was accidentally shot and killed at the Montana State Prison in Deer Lodge.

On the morning of January 22nd, 1938, Guard Russell was proceeding to his duty station while transporting two rifles and a bag carrying ammunition and a .45 caliber Colt revolver. The hammer of the revolver was positioned on a live round, instead of on an empty chamber.

As Guard Russell entered tower number 4 (his duty station) he dropped the bag on the floor. When the bag hit the ground the Colt fired and the bullet struck Guard Russell in the head. He died approximately 15 minutes later.

Guard Russell was survived by his wife, daughter, and son.


  • Age 58
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire (Inadvertent)

accidental discharge

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i started work at MSP in 1972 and we had .38 victory model s&w revolvers, ithica .12 ga. shotguns, and winchester model 94 30-30 rifles. we also had 3 or 4 thompson model 1928 submachine guns in the armory across the street from tower 7.

james burdette

January 25, 2020

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