Sheriff Fred O. Dawes

Sheriff Fred O. Dawes

Vernon County Sheriff's Office, Missouri

End of Watch Thursday, July 17, 1919

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Fred O. Dawes

Sheriff Fred Dawes was shot and killed by a suspect he had just arrested for stealing bags of feed from a grain company.

Sheriff Dawes was approached by the grain company owner who had had several sacks of feed stolen. The owner had discovered three sacks of feed sitting in front of the building. Sheriff Dawes and the owner waited for the suspected thief to return. When a man appeared at about 2200 hours, they took him into custody and took him to the grain company office. Sheriff Dawes turned his back on the suspect to put some keys from the suspect's pocket on a table. As Sheriff Dawes turned back, the suspect shot him in the heart with a .32-caliber revolver.

The suspect then engaged in a running gun battle with two officers. The suspect was shot four times and died several hours later of his injuries.

Sheriff Dawes had been employed with the Vernon County Sheriff's Department for 2 1/2 years and was survived by his wife, three daughters, and a son. He is buried in Newton Burial Park, Nevada, Vernon County, Missouri.


  • Age 44
  • Tour 2 years, 6 months
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .32 caliber
  • Offender Shot and killed

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Thank you for your service and please know that no passage of time will ever erase your sacrifice. Rest in peace always.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

July 17, 2020

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