Constable John T. Barner

Constable John T. Barner

Pennsylvania State Constable - Centre County, Pennsylvania

End of Watch Thursday, March 5, 1896

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John T. Barner

Constable John Barner was shot and killed while attempting to serve an assault warrant on a subject near Woodward, Centre County.

The man had assaulted his father-in-law one year earlier while attending a fair and had been terrorizing citizens of Woodward for several months. Constable Barner, who had just been elected one week earlier, deputized a citizen and organized a posse in an attempt to arrest the subject at his cabin.

As they approached the home the subject warned them not to approach. As the posse continued toward the house the man threw a lit stick of dynamite at him, but the explosion did not injure any of the officers. The man retreated upstairs in his cabin. As Constable Barner climbed the stairs the man opened fire on, striking him with a shotgun blast and wounding the deputized citizen.

The man then shot several citizens who attempted to approach the house. A large mob of citizens was organized and they eventually lit the house on fire, forcing the man's family from it. The man then committed suicide as the house burned, and then ultimately exploded due to a large quantity of dynamite inside of it.

Constable Barner had served as an elected constable of Centre County for only one week.


  • Age 32
  • Tour 1 week
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Shotgun
  • Offender Committed suicide

domestic, fatal funnel, warrant

Most Recent Reflection

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Constable Barner,
On today, the 125th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Centre County.


United States Border Patrol

March 5, 2021

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