Sheriff Mack R. Carmichael

Sheriff Mack R. Carmichael

McKinley County Sheriff's Office, New Mexico

End of Watch Thursday, April 4, 1935

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Mack R. Carmichael

Sheriff Carmichael was shot and killed during a riot while attempting to escort three prisoners from the courthouse back to jail in Gallup.

At the time Gallup was a mining town and home to 800 to 1000 unemployed miners. Two strikes at the towns five coal mines in 1933 and 1934 resulted in tension between union and non-union miners reached a boiling point when many were evicted from their homes. Three men were being tried at the court house for refusing to vacate their homes after being served with eviction papers. Sheriff Carmichael attempted to take them back to jail through the back to avoid a confrontation with more than 300 angry protesters, supporting the three, saw them in the back of the courthouse, near an alley in the rear of Independent Printing Co., and immediately rushed them. The rioters opened fire, killing Sheriff Carmichael and wounding two of his deputies. Deputies fired back, killing two rioters and wounding four more. U.S. Army troops and the New Mexico National Guard were deployed to restore peace.

Over the course of several days, more than 150 people were arrested. Three men were convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to 45 years hard labor. One had his conviction overturned by the Supreme Court in 1937 and set free. In 1939 the other two were pardoned by Governor John E. Miles.

Sheriff Carmichael had been with the agency for five and a half years. He was survived by his wife and son.


  • Age 38
  • Tour 5 years, 6 months
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Pardoned in 1939

Riot, escort

Most Recent Reflection

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Sheriff Carmichael,
On today, the 90th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of McKinley County.

BPA Mike Casey
United States Border Patrol(Retired)

April 4, 2024

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