Sheriff Jacob K. "Jake" May

Sheriff Jacob K. "Jake" May

Washington County Sheriff's Department, Illinois

End of Watch Wednesday, June 20, 1917

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Jacob K. "Jake" May

Sheriff Jacob May and Nashville City Marshal August Leker were shot and killed after confronting a suspect, a former city marshal, who was disgruntled with his daughter's planned wedding.

The suspect had earlier consented to his teenage daughter's marriage, but developed a dislike for the groom. On the night before the wedding the suspect, in a drunken rage, tore up his daughter's wedding dress and assaulted her before she fled to the home of the groom's parents. Early on the morning of the wedding day, the suspect appeared at the home of the groom's parents, began threatening the family and demanding his daughter's return. After being unsuccessful, the suspect went to the Jankowski Saloon, going home only briefly to get his 16-gauge shotgun before returning to continue drinking.

When leaving the saloon at 12:30 pm, the suspect was confronted by Sheriff May and Marshal Leker who told the suspect to go home. As the suspect backed across the street, he stopped, pointed his shotgun at Sheriff May and both officers drew their revolvers. The suspect shot at Marshal Leker twice, who returned fire wounding the suspect in the stomach, before dying from a blast to his chest. Turning to Sheriff May, the suspect fired once, killing him instantly with a blast to his head. The suspect was disarmed by the saloon's owner and died a couple of days later in a hospital.

Sheriff May had served with the Washington County Sheriff's Department for three years. He was survived by his wife.


  • Age 45
  • Tour 3 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Shotgun; 16 gauge
  • Offender Shot and killed

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No passage of time will ever erase your service and sacrifice and know that you will always be remembered.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo (Retired)
Delaware State Police

June 20, 2020

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