Sheriff Melbourne Lewis

Sheriff Melbourne Lewis

Grant County Sheriff's Department, South Dakota

End of Watch Wednesday, July 30, 1941

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Melbourne Lewis

Sheriff Lewis was shot and killed while responding to reports that a man was walking on North Main Street in Milbank with a .22 caliber rifle. The suspect hid in a shed and opened fire on the sheriff as he searched for him. A service station attendant and a 12-year-old boy were also shot and wounded.

The 31-year-old suspect, an ex-convict, had been out of prison less than 24 hours after serving eight years for burglary. He was convicted of Sheriff Lewis' murder and sentenced to death. His sentence was later commuted to life on December 7, 1943. In 1982 he was the second oldest inmate in the South Dakota Penitentiary.

Sheriff Lewis was survived by four young children, and his wife who was named deputy sheriff by her husband's successor.


  • Age 34
  • Tour 4 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle; .22 caliber
  • Offender Sentenced to life

Most Recent Reflection

View all 8 Reflections

Sheriff Lewis,
Even though it’s been over 80 years since your End of Watch you are still honored and remembered. I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Grant County.


United States Border Patrol

October 22, 2021

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