Chief of Police Lester Arthur "Chester" Shearhart

Chief of Police Lester Arthur "Chester" Shearhart

Vinita Police Department, Oklahoma

End of Watch Friday, May 4, 1945

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Lester Arthur "Chester" Shearhart

Chief Chief Shearhart was shot and killed while trying to arrest a forgery suspect.

Chief Shearhart and two other officers went to a farmhouse while searching for a forgery suspect. When they arrived at the farmhouse, the farmer told the officers the man they were looking for was in the barn behind the house. While the officers went to the barn, the farmer came out of the house and hid in a ditch with a twelve-gauge shotgun. Locating no one in the barn, Chief Shearhart came back to the front of the house. As he came back around to the front of the house, the farmer shot him in the heart, wounding him fatally. Chief Shearhart died 30 minutes later at a hospital in Vinita. The farmer was arrested by the other officers and charged with murder.

The farmer, a 75 year old man, maintained during his trial that the shotgun was accidentally discharged. On September 13, 1945, he was acquitted.

Chief Shearhart was survived by his wife, four sons and one grandchild. He was serving the remainder of the term of the previous Chief who had resigned. He had been elected to the Chief’s position the previous March and had been due to take office to begin serving his own term on May 7th.


  • Age 44
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Shotgun; 12 gauge
  • Offender Acquitted

Most Recent Reflection

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To fully appreciate the heroes of the present, we must recognize our heroes of the past. Your heroism and service is honored today, the 68th anniversary year of your death. I am priviliged to be among the first to leave a tribute to you. 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 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

May 10, 2013

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