Deputy Marshal Ralph J. Zahnle

Deputy Marshal Ralph J. Zahnle

Harbor View Police Department, Ohio

End of Watch Thursday, November 7, 1929

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Ralph J. Zahnle

Deputy Marshal Zahnle was shot and killed as he and his partner attempted to stop two vehicles suspected of transporting liquor through town. They had spotted the vehicles on Sylvania Avenue and drove ahead to the intersection of Sylvania Avenue and Jackman Road.

As the first vehicle passed their location they attempted to pull out. The second vehicle purposely rammed their car and the occupants immediately opened fire with rifles. The suspects fired over 20 rounds into the vehicle, fatally wounding Deputy Marshal Zahnle. His partner escaped injury by taking cover on the car's floorboard. The suspects then fled on foot.

Four suspects were eventually apprehended. One was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 19 years and 11 months in prison on April 15, 1930.

Deputy Marshal Zahnle was a US Army veteran of WWI and had served with the Harbor View Police Department for only 3 months. He was survived by his wife and three young children.


  • Age 33
  • Tour 3 months
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle
  • Offender Sentenced to 19 years

Most Recent Reflection

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NEVER FORGET! On behalf of the Westerville, Ohio Division of Police, we honor the dedicated service and ultimate sacrifice of Deputy Marshal Ralph J. Zahnle of the Harbor View Police Department, Ohio and the additional 67 American Peace Officers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice on this date in history.

Chief Joe Morbitzer
Westerville, Ohio Division of Police

November 7, 2017

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