Deputy Sheriff William Fitzgerald

Deputy Sheriff William Fitzgerald

Westchester County Sheriff's Department, New York

End of Watch Friday, September 13, 1968

Add to My Heroes

William Fitzgerald

Deputy Sheriff William Fitzgerald was shot and killed as he and another deputy transported three prisoners from the Auburn Correctional Facility to the Westchester County Courthouse in White Plains for court appearances.

The three inmates were handcuffed in the rear of a sedan that had no cage. One of the inmates feigned that he had to urinate and, as they pulled off of the New York State Thruway at the Modena-Plattekill rest area, two of the inmates reached over seats with their handcuffed hands and grabbed both deputies around their necks. The third inmate reached over the seats, grabbed Deputy Fitzgerald's service revolver, and fatally shot him.

The other deputy shot and killed one of the inmates and wounded the inmate who shot Deputy Fitzgerald.

The prisoner who killed Deputy Fitzgerald was sentenced to death but had the sentenced reduced to life in 1972 when the death sentence was ruled unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court. He died in prison on November 19th, 2001. The other inmate was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life. He was paroled on September 6th, 2007.


  • Age 62
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Died in prison

escape attempt, transport

Most Recent Reflection

View all 7 Reflections

Rest in peace always knowing that your service and sacrifice will never, ever be forgotten by your law enforcement brethren.

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

September 13, 2020

Want even more control of your Reflection? Create a free ODMP account now for these benefits:

  • Quick access to your heroes
  • Reflections published quicker
  • Save a Reflection signature
  • View, edit or delete any Reflection you've left in the past

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.