Deputy Sheriff Robert Michael Tanner, Jr.

Deputy Sheriff Robert Michael Tanner, Jr.

Muskingum County Sheriff's Department, Ohio

End of Watch Tuesday, January 8, 2002

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Robert Michael Tanner, Jr.

Deputy Robert Tanner was shot and killed after being flagged down in a residential area in Zanesville, Ohio.

He was on patrol when he radioed dispatch that he was being flagged down and gave them a license plate number to check. Shortly there after Deputy Tanner radioed dispatch again but when dispatch answered he did not answer. With no response dispatch sent backup. He was found by a passerby, with a gunshot wound, next to his vehicle. His service weapon was still in its holster.

Three suspects were apprehended later in the evening during a massive search, after other officers located the car with the license plate Deputy Tanner had called in. The three suspects fled the scene but were all apprehended in a wooded area. The shooter pled guilty to all charges and was sentenced to life without parole.

Deputy Tanner had been employed with the Muskingum County Sheriff's Department for eight years, and he is survived by his wife.


  • Age 39
  • Tour 8 years
  • Badge 17

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .45 caliber
  • Offender Sentenced to life

Most Recent Reflection

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18 years, it doesn't seem possible. I still think of you every time I get into my patrol car. I think your laugh, and the conversations we would have. I think about how I was honored to do the placement of your flag at London when your name was added to the wall. I think about how the flag just kept hitting me in the face while I had to stand at attention. I swore that was you doing it because you knew I had to stand so still. I think about when they drove your car past me standing there and fighting back the tears hoping you were proud of the job I did. I'll never forget that night and the days, weeks, months, years later that have followed. The pain is still there and it just isn't fair. I miss you!


January 8, 2020

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