Deputy Sheriff William Joseph Heffernan

Deputy Sheriff William Joseph Heffernan

Island County Sheriff's Office, Washington

End of Watch Saturday, November 14, 1987

William Joseph Heffernan

Deputy Sheriff William Heffernan and Deputy Sheriff John Saxerud were shot and killed by a man they had arrested for drunk driving. As they took the man into the processing area of the jail the man pulled out a concealed handgun and shot them both, killing them almost instantly.

The suspect was convicted of two counts of aggravated first degree murder and sentenced to two life terms.

Deputy Heffernan had previously served with the United States Navy. He was survived by his two children.


  • Age 45
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge 317
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Sentenced to life

Most Recent Reflection

View all 14 Reflections

Well it's been thirty years now. Bill & Johns pictures are on a wall in my home with one of my badges that still carries the black ribbon I wore. There are rubbings from the Memorial wall with bot names & I remembered every time I look at that wall, one of the worst days of my career.

E.C. PROFT Chief Criminal Deputy
ICSO retired

December 21, 2017

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