Patrolman
Willard Sylvester VanHorn
Elwood Police Department
Tuesday, July 5, 1932

Age: 44
Served: 3 years
Badge #:
Panel 43W, Line 14
Panel L31, Line 6

Incident Details

Cause of Death:
Gunfire
Date/Time of Incident:
Tuesday, July 5, 1932
10:15 pm
Incident to Death Duration:
Same day
Incident Location:
1014 North 14th Street, Elwood
Incident County:
Madison
Incident Township:
Pipe Creek
Weapon Used:
Pistol
Suspect Disposition:
Killed by police
Burial Place:
Elwood Cemetery, Elwood

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   Patrolman Willard VanHorn was shot and killed while attempting to arrest a suspect who had robbed a service station and abducted the attendant in Muncie earlier in the day.

   A detective from the Muncie Police Department went to Elwood after learning one of the suspects may have gone there. The detective accompanied Patrolman VanHorn and another Elwood patrolman to a home where they believed the suspect was hiding.

   The detective went to the front door and the two patrolmen went to the back door. As the patrolmen entered the house, a man immediately opened fire on them, mortally wounding Patrolman VanHorn who returned fire before dying at the scene.

   The detective also returned fire, wounding the 23-year-old suspect who confessed before he died the following day and was a convict that had escaped a year earlier from the Oklahoma State Penitentiary.

   The 17-year-old second suspect was arrested in Summitville and was later convicted of auto banditry for his part in the original robbery. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison where he died in 1935.

   Patrolman VanHorn was survived by his wife, son, two daughters, father and stepmother.

Military Service


United States Army
World War I



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Patrolman Willard Sylvester VanHorn - Elwood Police Department - INLEM.org