Sheriff Charles Gassaway

Sheriff Charles Gassaway

Colbert County Sheriff's Office, Alabama

End of Watch Sunday, April 6, 1902

Add to My Heroes

Charles Gassaway

Sheriff Gassaway and five deputies were shot and killed after attempting to arrest a suspect.

Sheriff Gassaway had served as Sheriff of the Colbert County Sheriff's Office for over two years. He was survived by his wife and three children.

Sheriff Charles Gassaway and five Colbert County deputies were shot and killed when the sheriff attempted to arrest a suspect for obtaining goods under false pretenses. The suspect informed the sheriff that he would be ready to go in a moment but arrived at the door with a Winchester rifle. The suspect immediately shot Sheriff Gassaway, who was in the doorway, and the sheriff's brother, Deputy William Gassaway, who was standing a distance away.

The suspect then barricaded himself in the house as other deputies arrived at the scene. Firing from inside the house, the suspect shot and mortally wounded Deputy Bob Wallace, Deputy Pat Prout, Deputy James Payne, and Deputy Jesse Davis.

The suspect was eventually shot and killed after members of the the Alabama state militia, known as the Wheeler Rifles, shot over 1,000 rounds at the suspect. The suspect's body was then thrown into his burning house, that had been set on fire in an attempt to smoke him out.


  • Age 33
  • Tour 2 years, 4 months
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle; Winchester
  • Offender Shot and killed

arrest attempt

Most Recent Reflection

View all 9 Reflections

A just end to a filthy scum. Kudos to the Alabama State Militia in this case for not allowing this animal the chance to ever kill again.

Sheriff Gassaway, you are a true hero. God Bless you and may your rest be forever peaceful.

Jim Leahy, Jr.
Harvard University Police Dept.

April 6, 2016

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.