Sheriff James Shellenbarger

Sheriff James Shellenbarger

Knox County Sheriff's Office, Ohio

End of Watch Tuesday, October 3, 1905

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James Shellenbarger

Sheriff James Shellenbarger succumbed to gunshot wounds when he was shot on May 31, 1905.

He was shot in the abdomen as he attempted to arrest a man on a charge of assault with intent to kill.

Sheriff Shellenbarger was removed to the hospital, but his condition was too critical to attempt to remove the bullet. When doctors were finally able to remove the bullet, they found a massive infection, and Sheriff Shellenbarger died as a result of that infection.

The shooter had previously shot at another officer years before. He was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 18 years. On July 2, 1917, he was pardoned by Governor James M. Cox.

Sheriff Shellenbarger had served with the Knox County Sheriff's Office for two years. He was survived by his wife, two sons, two brothers, and a sister.


  • Age 41
  • Tour 2 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Wednesday, May 31, 1905
  • Weapon Handgun; .44 caliber
  • Offender Pardoned in 1917

arrest attempt

Most Recent Reflection

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NEVER FORGET! On behalf of the Ohio Attorneys General Bureau of Criminal Identification & Investigation, we honor the dedicated service and ultimate sacrifice of Sheriff James Shellenbarger of the Knox County Sheriff's Office, Ohio and the additional 85 American Peace Officers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice on this date in history.

Superintendent Joe Morbitzer
Ohio Attorney General, Bureau of Criminal Investigation

October 5, 2023

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