15 Law Enforcement Officers Murdered By Domestic Extremists Since the Oklahoma City Bombing
Since the Oklahoma City bombing, domestic extremists have murdered 15 law enforcement officers. Each of their deaths was a unique tragedy.
By Susy Buchanan
Michigan State Police (Fremont)
July 7, 2003
Kevin Marshall was 33 when a member of the Michigan Militia and follower of hard-line Christian Identity leader James Wickstrom shot him to death in the midst of a 2003 standoff in the small town of Fremont, Mich.
Marshall was married to his high school sweetheart and had two small children. He had been with the state police for eight years, and just months before had been awarded the Michigan State Police Bravery Award for helping to prevent a suicidal woman from stabbing her boyfriend or hurting herself.
Scott Woodring was a different kind of man. Notorious around town for being a bit of a strange character, Woodring worked at the Gerber baby food factory in town and had a well-known obsession with trains.
But he was far from harmless.
Years earlier, local law enforcement officers were cautioned by their superiors not to talk to Woodring unless there was a specific need — it was just too dangerous. By the time of Woodring's encounter with Marshall, rumors were rampant around town that he had built bunkers and an extensive array of tunnels underneath his house. And indeed, officers would later find the dwelling stocked with gas masks, survival gear, silver coins, backpacks full of food and an array of weapons.
On July 7, 2003, Kevin Marshall was part of an emergency response team called after officers tried to serve Woodring with a warrant for sexual solicitation of a minor. A heavily armed Woodring had responded by barricading himself inside his house.
The standoff was entering its second day when police decided to force an end. Armored vehicles were used to approach Woodring's home and percussion grenades were lobbed inside, igniting the carpet. Marshall, wearing body armor and carrying a shield, led the four-man response team into the house.
Smoke from the grenades clouded the air as the officers stayed in tight formation. According to news reports at the time, the team was just 10 feet into the house when Woodring started shooting. The officers behind Marshall attempted to return fire but couldn't see where the shots were coming from. Officers fired ahead into the hall and then, suspecting Woodring was firing at them from the basement, unloaded several shots through the floorboards and into a stairwell. It was a scene of chaos and confusion. Quickly, the decision was made to leave.
As they retreated, Marshall took several shots to the shield and then was hit in the right hand. One investigator believes this occurred as Marshall reached around the shield to return fire, and that the impact of the bullet to his hand spun his body around to the right, allowing two subsequent bullets to pierce his back despite the body armor he was wearing. Kevin Marshall died from those shots, even as Woodring's entire house went up in flames.
At first, officers assumed Woodring had died in the fire. But then a backpack with survival gear was found nearby, indicating that he'd escaped after killing Marshall. Woodring eluded capture for another week before he was found sleeping in a car about four miles from his home. Stepping from the car with a rifle in his hand, Woodring was shot and killed by approaching police.