End of Watch: 04/17/1949
Agency: Whitman County S.O.
County: Whitman County
Sheriff Levi Parnell and Deputy Gilbert Gallagher of the Whitman County Sheriff’s Department, and Officer Elber Claar of the Pullman Police Department were shot by a suspect after the suspect fought with another man. Officer Claar had spotted the man at a filling station and attempted to arrest him. As Officer Claar returned to his car to retrieve his nightstick the man opened fire with a .22 caliber handgun, striking Officer Claar five times.
The suspect then drove to his house and grabbed a rifle with a scope before heading to a nearby hill. Deputy Gallagher responded to the residence and exited his cruiser. As he looked toward the house the suspect shot him in the back and fired at another deputy who was able to get cover. The suspect then moved to another part of the hill near a college campus where he shot and killed a civilian who was looking for him.
Sheriff Parnell and another deputy also responded to the scene and as Sheriff Parnell exited his cruiser he was shot once in the chest by the suspect. The suspect was finally surrounded hiding in bushes by a group of officers and citizens who opened fire, fatally wounding him.
Sheriff Parnell served in Law Enforcement for 6 years.