Incident DetailsCause of Death:
Sheriff Gerald Uptegraft died from wounds he suffered two days earlier after being shot when called to the home of an intoxicated man who was threatening to kill his 18-year-old ex-girlfriend and then himself. The man's mother called Sheriff Uptegraft as he and the man were well-acquainted.
When Sheriff Uptegraft arrived at the residence he was immediately confronted by the man, who held him at bay with a rifle. As he attempted to talk the man into putting the rifle down, the man went outside the house. Sheriff Uptegraft took that opportunity to call deputies and city police officers for assistance.
Before they arrived, the 36-year-old man re-entered the home and again held Sheriff Uptegraft at gunpoint. As assisting officers arrived, they entered the residence and were immediately fired upon. The suspect then shot and wounded Sheriff Uptegraft and injured the Hartford City police chief before being shot several times and killed.
Sheriff Uptegraft was transported to Blackford County Hospital in Hartford City where he died two days later.
Sheriff Uptegraft had been re-elected sheriff to his second, but unserved term. He was survived by his wife, son, mother, brother and sister.
United States Navy