Deputy Sheriff George Van Vliet was shot and killed while attempting to arrest a husband and wife who were wanted in connection with the murders of Chief of Detectives John Rowan, of the Colorado Springs Police Department, Colorado, and Policeman Luther McMahill, of the Denver Police Department, Colorado.
Deputy Van Vliet and his partner were staking out a service station near the U.S. Army’s Ross Field, in Arcadia, when the suspects arrived at the scene. When the deputies called on them to surrender the husband opened fire using a pistol concealed in a hidden pocket. The first round struck Deputy Van Vliet, killing him.
The other deputy shot and killed both offenders during a prolonged shootout in which the deputy used every round of ammunition he had. He killed the husband using his last shotgun shell.