Incident DetailsCause of Death:
Trooper Herbert Smith was shot and killed after making a traffic stop on State Road 9 about three and one half-miles north of Shelbyville.
When the driver couldn't produce identification he asked the four teenage occupants of the vehicle to follow him to the police station. Suspecting the vehicle was stolen, Trooper Smith requested a license place check while driving to the station.
While en route the suspects pretended to have car trouble and pulled to the side of the road. Trooper Smith also stopped and as he approached the vehicle the suspects opened fire, striking him three times. He was able to return fire and make it back to his patrol car, where he died of his injuries.
The four suspects were apprehended in a cornfield about an hour later. Two males, both 17 years old, were charged with first-degree murder, subsequently found guilty by a jury and sentenced to life in prison.
Their 14- and 15-year-old girlfriends were also charged with first-degree murder and later pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter. They were each sentenced to two to 21 years in prison and both were paroled in 1949.
Trooper Smith, from Shelbyville, was assigned to the Connersville post. He was survived by his wife.
• The 14-year-old is the youngest female and second-youngest known offender to be involved in a line of duty death in Indiana.