Deputy Sheriff Gilbert C. Gallagher

Deputy Sheriff Gilbert C. Gallagher

Whitman County Sheriff's Department, Washington

End of Watch Sunday, April 17, 1949

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Gilbert C. Gallagher

Deputy Sheriff Gilbert Gallagher, Sheriff Levi Parnell, and Officer Elbert Claar of the Pullman Police Department were shot by a suspect after the man fought with another man.

Officer Claar had spotted the man at a filling station and attempted to arrest him in Pullman, Washington. As Officer Claar returned to his car to retrieve his nightstick, the man opened fire with a .22 caliber handgun, striking Officer Claar five times.

The suspect then drove to his house and grabbed a rifle with a scope before heading to a nearby hill. Deputy Gallagher responded to the residence and exited his cruiser. As he looked toward the house, the suspect shot him in the back and fired at another deputy who was able to get cover. The suspect then moved to another part of the hill near a college campus, where he shot and killed a civilian who was looking for him.

Sheriff Parnell and another deputy also responded to the scene, and as Sheriff Parnell exited his cruiser, he was shot once in the chest by the suspect. The suspect was finally surrounded and found hiding in bushes by a group of officers and citizens who opened fire, fatally wounding him.

Deputy Gallagher was a United States Army WWII veteran and served with the Whitman County Sheriff's Department for two months. He was survived by his wife, two daughters, a son, and parents.


  • Age 28
  • Tour 2 months
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle
  • Offender Shot and killed

murder suspect, arrest attempt

Most Recent Reflection

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Deputy Sheriff Gallagher,
On today, the 75th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice-not just as a Law Enforcement Officer but for our Country as well when you served with the U.S. Army as a member of the 1st Infantry Division-“The Big Red One” fighting the Germans during World War II. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

BPA Mike Casey
United States Border Patrol(Retired)

April 17, 2024

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