Correctional Officer William A. Miller

Correctional Officer William A. Miller

United States Department of Justice - Federal Bureau of Prisons, U.S. Government

End of Watch Friday, May 3, 1946

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William A. Miller

Correctional Officer William Miller and Correctional Officer Harold Stites were shot and killed during an attempted prison escape at Alcatraz Prison in California.

Several inmates were able to gain control of the prison's arsenal and took nine guards hostage, locking them in two separate cells. The prisoners demanded the prison keys, where were all turned over except for the one that allowed access to the outside. The guards were able to conceal that key in a toilet.

When the prisoners realized they were unable to escape they began firing into the cells, wounding all of the officers. An assault team of other officers and United States Marines stormed the facility. During the ensuing battle Officer Stites, a member of the rescue team, was shot and killed and six other officers were wounded.

Officer Miller was among the original nine hostages and also died of his wounds. In all 14 officers were wounded and two were killed. Two of the inmates were also killed. Two others were later executed for the murders and one other was sentenced to 99 years.

One of the two executed was serving time for the murder of Detective Lemuel Savage of the Amarillo Police Department, Texas. The suspect was convicted of a federal kidnapping charge related to Detective Savage's murder and was sent to Alcatraz Prison to serve the time.


  • Age Not available
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Location California
  • Incident Date Thursday, May 2, 1946
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Two shot and killed; Two executed

Most Recent Reflection

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Rest in peace officer miller I watched alot of alcatraz videos and your picture and story tells a whole lot you were awesome I always wanted to visit alcatraz island the prison closed 9 years before I was born

Cherilynn Sorensen

April 19, 2021

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