DOC Staff Fallen in the Line of Duty

Guard Herbert Briggs Guard Herbert Briggs died on February 12, 1934 at the Washington State Penitentiary. Guard Briggs was taken hostage and later murdered by inmates attempting an escape. This incident later became known as the “Lincoln’s Day Massacre.” Guard Briggs is enrolled and honored at the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington D.C.
Al Gruber, Business Manager at the Washington State Penitentiary Al Gruber, Business Manager at the Washington State Penitentiary died on February 16, 1953 from injuries he received from an inmate-made bomb. The bomb was found on the prison grounds and was delivered to Mr. Gruber. As Mr. Gruber attempted to take the cylinder apart, it exploded. He died from the injuries a week after the explosion.
Lieutenant William S. Warfield Lieutenant William S. Warfield died on November 17, 1970 at the Washington State Penitentiary. Lieutenant Warfield died of a heart attack after an offender kicked him in the chest. The inmate was sentenced to the death penalty and Lt. Warfield was attempting to restrain him. Lieutenant Warfield is enrolled and honored at the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington D.C.
Lieutenant Roger Sanders Lieutenant Roger Sanders died on September 1, 1978 from injuries he received during a bomb explosion that occurred on August 11, 1978. The bomb was made by an inmate and placed in the Education Department at the Washington State Penitentiary. Lieutenant Sanders is enrolled and honored at the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington D.C.
Sergeant William Cross Sergeant William Cross died in the line of duty on June 15,1979 as he attempted to assist a fellow officer during a prison disturbance at the Washington State Penitentiary. Sergeant Cross is enrolled and honored at the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington D.C.
Community Corrections Officer Michael Erdahl Community Corrections Officer Michael Erdahl was murdered at his home on May 29, 1985. His home was then destroyed by arson. This crime remains unsolved, however, law enforcement believe that Officer Erdahl’s duties with the Department of Corrections were a factor in the incident. Officer Erdahl is enrolled and honored at the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington D.C.
Correctional Officer Jayme Biendl Correctional Officer Jayme Biendl was murdered by an offender January 29, 2011 at Monroe Correctional Complex. Offender Byron Scherf was found guilty of first–degree murder and received the death penalty.