City Marshal William E. Kelley

City Marshal William E. Kelley

Oxnard Police Department, California

End of Watch Saturday, August 20, 1921

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William E. Kelley

City Marshal William Kelley and Sheriff Edward McMartin, of the Ventura County Sheriff's Office, were shot and killed while attempting to arrest a man wanted for murder.

Sheriff McMartin had received information the man was at a home at the intersection of Winnetka Avenue and Sherman Way in Los Angeles. The two officers went to the home and spoke to the owner, who informed them the wanted man and an accomplice were staying in a shack in the backyard. When the suspect opened the door he recognized the officers and opened fire with a pistol, fatally wounding both.

The man fled but committed suicide a short time later as officers surrounded him.

Marshal Kelley had served in law enforcement for 44 years. He had previously served as sheriff of Dakota County, Nebraska, and as the United States Marshal for Nebraska. He was appointed Oxnard's first city marshal in 1898 and also held commissions as a constable and sheriff's deputy.

He was survived by his wife and four children.


  • Age 64
  • Tour 44 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Committed suicide

warrant service, murder suspect

Most Recent Reflection

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City Marshal Kelly,
On today, the 100th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Oxnard. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

August 20, 2021

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