Deputy Sheriff Lee Wilson succumbed to a gunshot wound sustained approximately one-half mile east of Monrovia two weeks earlier while attempting to arrest a man wanted for a previous murder in Santa Ana.
He and a deputy constable had gone to the suspect’s brother’s house to arrest him. They located him in bed and told him he was under arrest. As he got dressed he was given permission to get his shoes from an adjoining room. As he was about to go to the other room Deputy Wilson noticed that the man’s shoes were under his bed and told him to sit down.
When Deputy Wilson bent down to retrieve the shoes his .45 caliber Colt revolver became exposed. The man quickly grabbed the revolver from its holster and fired towards the officers. One of the rounds struck the constable’s lantern, causing it to go out, and then deflected into Deputy Wilson’s leg causing a serious injury. During the ensuing shootout the suspect’s brother extinguished another lantern, causing the house to become totally dark.
The subject escaped during the confusion and remained free until May 1902 when he was captured by deputies in Yuma County, Arizona, following a shootout. He was returned to Los Angeles County where he was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Deputy Wilson was single and had served with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for six years. He is buried at San Gabriel Cemetery in San Gabriel, California.