Police Officer Terry McDowell

Police Officer Terry McDowell

Whitehall Police Department, Ohio

End of Watch Friday, August 24, 2001

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Terry McDowell

Police Officer Terry McDowell was shot and killed as he and his partner attempted to serve a traffic citation to a woman at her home for driving without a license.

The woman had driven to the police station earlier in the day to pick her husband up after he had been arrested on a DUI charge. When it was discovered the woman did not have a driver's license, the two officers told her to walk home. Officer McDowell and his partner then went to her home to serve the citation.

While the officers were knocking on the door, the woman's husband fired a .357 caliber handgun through the door without warning, striking Officer McDowell in the chest above his vest. He immediately fired a second time, striking Officer McDowell's partner in the face and eye, seriously wounding him. As Officer McDowell's partner retreated and called for assistance, the suspect stood over Officer McDowell's body and shot him several more times. Backup officers arrived on the scene and shot the suspect in the leg. The suspect then walked to the backyard of his house and committed suicide.

The gun used by the suspect was found to have been stolen from the suspect's neighbor, who had been murdered.

Officer McDowell had served with the Whitehall Police Department for 12 years and had previously served as an MP in the U.S. Army. He is survived by his wife, an 8-year-old son, and an 11-month-old daughter.


  • Age 35
  • Tour 12 years
  • Badge 32
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .357 caliber
  • Offender Committed suicide

warrant service

Most Recent Reflection

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I knew Terry before he was a Whitehall Police Officer. Terry served as a Military Policeman assigned to 4th Platoon, 503rd Military Police Company, 3rd Armored Division in Frankfurt, Germany. He was my driver and I was his squad leader. There was never a dull moment with Terry whether it was in the field or patrolling the streets of Frankfurt, Germany in support of the discipline law and order mission of the Frankfurt Military Community and 5th US Corps Provost Marshal's (Chief of Police) Office. Always a high activity driven patrolman, Terry knew every off limits area in the Frankfurt sector and often discovered soldiers there doing things that they shouldn't be doing. Terry was a professional police officer even at an early age and commanded respect with his presence. His competence in conducting the tactical operations demanded of a division military policeman were also at the highest level and I am honored to have served with him. A truly dedicated professional in service to his country, his state and his community. Rest in peace, warrior.

Chief Jeremy Sharp
Buchtel Police Department

September 11, 2020

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