Deputy Sheriff James W. Dunn, II

Deputy Sheriff James W. Dunn, II

Benton County Sheriff's Office, Oregon

End of Watch Tuesday, April 26, 1904

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James W. Dunn, II

Deputy James Dunn was shot and killed while he and several other deputies attempted to arrest a drunk teenager who was causing a disturbance at a local saloon.

The night of violence began in downtown Corvallis when a gang of teenage boys went on a drinking spree. After the teenagers became violent Deputy Sheriff Osbum approached the leader, who was alone at the time, and ordered him to go home. When the teen refused, Deputy Sheriff Osbum attempted to arrest him. As Deputy Sheriff Osbum approached, the teen waved a revolver around threatening to shoot anyone who came near. His fellow teenage drinkers attempted to help, but quickly backed off after being threatened as well.

Deputy Sheriff Osbum was joined by Deputy Sheriff Dunn and the two officers continued to advance toward the teenage shooter who gave another warning and then opened fire on Deputy Sheriff Osbum. Deputy Sheriff Obsum was removed to a nearby hotel while the teen continued the stand-off.

In the meantime, Sheriff Burnett was called to the scene. The teen had reloaded his revolver and was aiming at the Sheriff as he approached, saying he would kill him if he attempted to arrest him. Sheriff Bumett got close enough to lay his hand on the suspects' shoulder and the suspect aimed a shot at Sheriff Burnett that went wide off its mark. Deputy Sheriff Dunn then stepped forward and suspect fired again hitting Deputy Sheriff Dunn in the stomach. Deputy Sheriff Dunn staggered and dropped to his knees, firing a succession of two or three shots, one of them hitting the teen shooter.

Sheriff Bumett also fired a shot, although it is unknown which was the fatal blow to the teen shooter. The teenager was taken to the morgue and Deputy Sheriff Dunn was moved to the hotel for treatment. Just 52 hours after the shooting, Deputy Sheriff Dunn died from his gunshot wound.

Deputy Dunn had previously served as chief of police for Corvallis and had been sworn in as a deputy several years after retiring. He was survived by his wife and three children.


  • Age 43
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Sunday, April 24, 1904
  • Weapon Handgun; .38 caliber
  • Offender Shot and killed

Most Recent Reflection

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My dad’s grandfather was James Dunn, which makes him my great grandfather. My father’s father’s name was Leroy Dunn. My dad’s name is Eugene Dunn and my uncle’s name was Weldon Dunn, both from Corvallis. My brother has two Dunn boys who have two Dunn boys each. My cousin has a boy, although doesn’t carry her maiden name Dunn but nevertheless is a direct descendant from James. We put flowers on his grave every year at Memorial Day.

Joyce Dunn
Great granddaughter

January 13, 2023

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