Chief of Detectives William E. Dwyer

Chief of Detectives William E. Dwyer

Terre Haute Police Department, Indiana

End of Watch Thursday, April 2, 1908

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William E. Dwyer

Chief of Detectives William Dwyer was shot and killed during a shootout in the Vigo County Courthouse.

A defendant who had just been convicted of dynamiting three stores in Sandford produced a gun and began firing, killing Detective Dwyer and wounding three others. Other officers returned fire wounding the suspect.

The suspect had dynamited the three businesses because the owners had exposed his illegal drinking establishment. His conviction came as a result of Detective Dwyer's testimony. He was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to two to 21 years in prison on October 4, 1908. He was paroled in 1915. On January 18, 1925, he was shot and killed by officers near Terre Haute during a sensational gun battle. He started the fight with the officers for no known reason.

Detective Dwyer had served with the Terre Haute Police Department for 20 years.


  • Age 47
  • Tour 20 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Paroled in 1915

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