Chief of Police Walter Eugene Markel

Chief of Police Walter Eugene Markel

Ironton Police Department, Ohio

End of Watch Friday, December 2, 1966

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Walter Eugene Markel

Chief Markel was shot and killed while attempting to stop a jail break at the Lawrence County Jail. A prisoner had obtained control of a deputy's gun and took three deputies hostage. The man forced the deputies to free three other prisoners and to hand over several other weapons.

The sheriff's wife was alerted to the incident as it was occurring and called Chief Markel, who rushed to the jail with another officer. Chief Markel went into the jail and immediately grabbed one of the suspects and exchanged shots with the others. Chief Markel was struck in the chest and killed instantly. One of the suspects, who was wounded in the shootout, then shot the other Ironton police officer as the officer put his hands up to surrender, paralyzing him from the waist down.

Two Ohio Highway Patrol officers had also been alerted to the jail break. When they arrived at the scene they took up defensive positions in the front of the jail. As the prisoners led the four deputies out the front, the highway patrol officers told them to surrender. Two of the suspects immediately surrendered but the fourth one opened fire. The suspect was killed in the return gunfire from the patrol officers.

Chief Markel was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran of WWII. He had served as Chief of the Ironton Police Department for 3 years.


  • Age 41
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Shot and killed

escape attempt

Most Recent Reflection

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NEVER FORGET! On behalf of the Westerville, Ohio Division of Police, we honor the dedicated service and ultimate sacrifice of Chief of Police Walter Eugene Markel of the Ironton Police Department, Ohio and the additional 49 American Peace Officers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice on this date in history.

Chief Joe Morbitzer
Westerville, Ohio Division of Police

December 2, 2017

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