Sheriff Luther Pannett

Sheriff Luther Pannett

Frederick County Sheriff's Office, Virginia

End of Watch Wednesday, December 21, 1932

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Luther Pannett

Sheriff Luther Pannett was accidentally shot and killed while investigating a suspicious noise in the cell block.

He and his wife lived in the Sheriff's Quarters in the Frederick County Jail at 317 S Cameron Street. At approximately 4:45 am Sheriff Pannett heard a noise coming from the cell block area upstairs. After obtaining his .32 caliber service revolver and flashlight, the sheriff went upstairs to investigate.

Mrs. Pannett said she heard no further noise from the direction of the staircase until a few minutes later when she heard the sound of a gunshot.

Running to the head of the stairs, Mrs. Pannett called to her husband but only received a sort of a groan. She went to the top of the steps where she found Sheriff Pannett lying on the floor of the landing unconscious with a gunshot wound to the head. He was rushed to Winchester Memorial Hospital where he died later that day.

An investigation concluded that Sheriff Pannett slipped and fell on the steps of the jail and dropped his revolver, which discharged, sending a bullet into his brain. The death was ruled accidental.

Sheriff Pannett had served with the Frederick County Sheriff's Office for over 20 years. He was survived by his wife.


  • Age 57
  • Tour 20 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire (Inadvertent)

accidental discharge, suspicious event

Most Recent Reflection

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Rest in peace Sheriff Pannett.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

May 12, 2020

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