Police Officer Terry McDowell

Police Officer Terry McDowell

Whitehall Police Department, Ohio

End of Watch Friday, August 24, 2001

Terry McDowell

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, who 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 her a 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 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 been employed with the Whitehall Police Department for 12 years, and is survived by his wife, 8-year-old son, and 11-month-old daughter.


  • Age 35
  • Tour 12 years
  • Badge 32

Incident Details

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

Most Recent Reflection

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Terry was a great man. He helped me out as a teen and early adult. I never will forget him or any officer of the W. H. P. D. . I lacked a lot of honor and discipline as a youth, not by fault of my parents, my own disregard. Terry time and again broke down life on "how it is, and how it should be". His talksmade a difference. I still remember him coming down one day and fishing with me under the Broad Street Bridge, he said "Hey trouble, they biting at all?" I laughed and and he did his Matthew McConaughey impression : Alright alright alright. Terry I miss you bud. You were a great officer, you were a good friend to my parents, and your missed. Happy late birthday. Mine was yesterday Nov 2,and yours is November 1st. Hey, my son just entered the US NAVY!


Whitehall Resident

November 3, 2017

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