Chief of Police John Raymond Nelson

Chief of Police John Raymond Nelson

Winnemucca Police Department, Nevada

End of Watch Sunday, March 6, 1921

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John Raymond Nelson

Chief of Police John Nelson succumbed to gunshot wounds received six days earlier while investigating the theft of cases of shoes from a boxcar at the Winnemucca railroad yard.

After locating the suspects, Chief Nelson observed a transaction involving the stolen shoes. When he attempted to arrest the men, one of them produced a pistol and opened fire, striking Chief Nelson four times. Although mortally wounded, Chief Nelson was able to return fire and kill one of the suspects. The other suspect was apprehended a short time later.

Chief Nelson had been elected Constable only four months prior to the shooting. Shortly after the election, he was appointed as Chief of Police and dually served both offices. He was survived by his wife, two children, parents, and ten siblings.


  • Age 28
  • Tour 4 months
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Monday, February 28, 1921
  • Weapon Handgun; Pistol
  • Offender Shot and killed

arrest attempt, robbery

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Just as an historical note, Chief Nelson was succeeded by my great-grandfather, N. P. "Chub" Moore, who served as Constable and Chief of Police until 1932, when he died in office, probably of a cardiac event. His son, Delbert "Chub" Moore was appointed to succeed him and served until the offices were severed. He was appointed as Humboldt County Sheriff in 1949 and served until 1964 when he retired.

Sprvisry. Spcl. Agent (Ret.) Al Saibini
Drug Enforcement Administration (and Washoe Co. SO)

September 5, 2023

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