Guard Henry J. Gearhart

Guard Henry J. Gearhart

Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, Ohio

End of Watch Sunday, May 29, 1904

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Henry J. Gearhart

Guard Henry Gearhart was shot and mortally wounded by an inmate at the Ohio Penitentiary in Columbus.

The inmate shot another guard through his shoulder and then shot and killed himself. No one knew how he got the revolver he used. The inmate was angry with Guard Gearhart because he had reported him for an infraction of prison rules, for which he lost special privileges for 30 days. The inmate was serving a 10-year sentence for a robbery and safe blowing conviction in Perry County in 1901.

Guard Gearhart, shot through both lungs, succumbed to his wounds four days later.

Guard Gearhart was survived by his wife and two children.


  • Age 41
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Wednesday, May 25, 1904
  • Weapon Handgun; Revolver
  • Offender Committed suicide


Most Recent Reflection

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NEVER FORGET! On behalf of the Westerville, Ohio Division of Police, we honor the dedicated service and ultimate sacrifice of Guard Henry J. Gearhart of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, Ohio and the additional 59 American Peace Officers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice on this date in history.

Chief Joe Morbitzer
Westerville, Ohio Division of Police

May 30, 2018

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