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 of Police Walter Markel was shot and killed while attempting to stop a jailbreak at the Lawrence County Jail at the courthouse square.

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 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 Police Officer Charles Giles. Chief Markel went into the jail, 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 Officer Giles 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 jailbreak. 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 of the front, the highway patrol officers told them to surrender. Two of the suspects immediately surrendered, but the fourth opened fire. The suspect was killed in the return gunfire from the patrol officers.

Patrolman Giles remained paralyzed from the chest down and died as a result of complications of the wound on November 26th, 1988.

Chief Markel was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran of WWII and had served as Chief of the Ironton Police Department for three years. He was survived by his wife, son, and daughter.


  • 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 Ohio Attorneys General Bureau of Criminal Identification & Investigation, we honor the dedicated service and ultimate sacrifice of Chief of Police Walter Eugene Markel of the Ironton Police Department, Ohio and the additional 64 American Peace Officers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice on this date in history.

Superintendent Joe Morbitzer
Ohio Attorney General, Bureau of Criminal Investigation

December 2, 2022

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