Deputy Sheriff William Joseph Heffernan

Deputy Sheriff William Joseph Heffernan

Island County Sheriff's Office, Washington

End of Watch Saturday, November 14, 1987

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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 was a United States Navy veteran and had served with the Island County Sheriff's Office for nine years. He was survived by his wife and two children.


  • Age 45
  • Tour 9 years
  • Badge 317
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Sentenced to life

arrest attempt, drunk driver, police facility

Most Recent Reflection

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You were my mentor, my partner and my friend. You continued to ride with me in my heart for the next 30 years. Rest my brother.

Deputy Dee Johnson
Island County Sheriff’s Office

June 26, 2021

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