Special Agent
John Irwin Wilson
Bureau of Prohibition – U.S. Department of Justice
Wednesday, July 22, 1931

Age: 34
Served: 3 years, 1 month
Badge #:
Panel 30E, Line 17
Panel L1, Line 4

Incident Details

Cause of Death:
Date/Time of Incident:
Wednesday, July 22, 1931
08:10 pm
Incident to Death Duration:
Same day
Incident Location:
Huntington Road near Waynedale
Incident County:
Incident Township:
Weapon Used:
.45-caliber handgun
Suspect Disposition:
Burial Place:
Rosehill Cemetery, Rockwell City, Iowa

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   Special Agent John Wilson and Special Agent Walter Gilbert were shot and killed while attempting to arrest a man during an undercover operation in Fort Wayne.

   The agents had arranged with the man to meet at a bridge for the delivery of liquor.

   When the man arrived he suspected he was being setup and opened fire, striking Agent Wilson four times, killing him instantly. Agent Gilbert was struck once in the back and died from the wounds he suffered at Lutheran Hospital later that evening.

   The 35-year-old suspect, who was also shot and wounded, was apprehended the following day.

   Special Agent Wilson, from Rockwell City, Iowa, was survived by his wife.

Military Service


United States Army – United States Navy

Historical Note

• This incident was one of 24 which resulted in the line of duty deaths of two officers.

The responsibilities of the Bureau of Prohibition – U.S. Department of Justice (1930–1933) are now under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives – U.S. Department of Justice.

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Special Agent Wilson
Special Agent John Irwin Wilson - Bureau of Prohibition – U.S. Department of Justice - INLEM.org