Sergeant Gary Dale Wilson
End of Watch : April 10, 1990
Duluth Police Department
|SERGEANT GARY DALE WILSON|
Died April 10, 1990
At 8:15 p.m. on April 9th, Mark Chumich, a patron at the Midway Bar, apparently made some comments that upset the suspect. A witness stated that he and Chumich were leaving the bar when the suspect confronted them in the alley with a gun. Chumich stated, "Hey, you can't shoot me," but the suspect fired anyway, hitting Chumich in the chest. Chumich was taken to St. Mary's Medical Center in stable condition. He later recovered from his injuries.
A manhunt for the suspect followed. Officers went to the Seaway Motel where they obtained a room key and opened the door, but the suspect had put the chain across the door. They continued to order him to come out, but he opened fire, shooting 15 times through the door and wall. The officers stormed the room, firing 6-8 rounds, hitting the suspect in the leg. A witness reported, "We were all standing there and all of a sudden the cops came and I could hear him (the suspect) running down the steps. They (the officers) told us to hit the deck and then go outside. I didn't hear the shots." Within minutes other officers took the suspect into custody and the injured officers were transported to the hospital. Sergeant Gary Wilson was taken to St. Luke's Hospital in critical condition with massive head injuries. He died the next day at 8:30 a.m. Sergeant John Hartley was taken to St. Mary's Hospital with a bullet lodged in his ribs. He recovered from his injuries. The suspect was brought out on a stretcher, stomach down, bound and conscious. He was also placed in an ambulance.
The suspect was identified as Lawrence James Montanaro, 47, of Altoona, PA. He was charged with first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder. He was later convicted of 15 charges including two counts of first-degree murder, 11 counts of attempted murder and two counts of assault. He received the mandatory sentence of life in prison and is not eligible for release until 2090. He is serving his sentence in Stillwater State Prison.
Sergeant Wilson was the first officer killed in Duluth in 24 years and the seventh in the history of the department. He had been an officer for 11 years. He followed his father, Harold Wilson, into law enforcement. Harold was the Rice Lake Township Constable.
Sergeant Wilson was born April 26, 1955. At the time of his death he was 34 years old. He was survived by his wife, Sue, and their 5-year-old son, Chad. His funeral was held Thursday, April 12th, at Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary at 2801 East 4th Street, and he was buried at Park Hill Cemetery on Vermillion Road.
Sourced from: The book "We Will Remember"
With permission from Lisa Lovering, Author and Board of Director
MN Law Enforcement Memorial Association
|Michael Hogan||Henry Burton Carlson|