John Gibson (police officer)

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John Gibson
Detective John Gibson, USCP.png
Detective John Gibson, USCP
United States Capitol Police
(1956-03-29)March 29, 1956 – July 24, 1998(1998-07-24) (aged 42)
Place of birth Boston, Massachusetts
Place of death Washington, D.C.
Country United States
Years of service 18
Rank Detective
Awards Law Enforcement Purple Heart

John Michael Gibson (March 29, 1956 – July 24, 1998) was a United States Capitol Police detective assigned to the dignitary protection detail of Congressman Tom DeLay. Gibson was one of two people killed inside the United States Capitol during a 1998 shooting rampage.

Personal life[edit]

Gibson was a native of Boston, Massachusetts. His wife, Lynn, was the niece of Representative Joe Moakley, a Democrat from Massachusetts. The couple had three children, a daughter and two boys.[1][2]

Gibson was sworn in as a police officer in 1980. He worked for the United States Capitol Police in Washington, D.C., and was a resident of Woodbridge, Virginia.[1]

Shooting incident[edit]

On July 24, 1998, shooting suspect Russell Eugene Weston Jr. entered the United States Capitol. He shot and killed Officer Jacob Chestnut outside Representative Tom Delay's congressional office. Gibson confronted the suspect and was also shot. Despite being mortally wounded, Gibson was able to return fire and wounded the suspect.[3]

Weston was known to the United States Secret Service prior to the incident as a person who had threatened the President of the United States.[1] The suspect was found mentally unfit to stand trial.[4]


A Capitol Police Honor Guard salutes the coffins of Gibson and Chestnut in the Capitol Rotunda
See also: Lying in state

A memorial service was held in the Capitol on July 28, 1998. Among those in attendance were President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore. The coffins of Gibson and Chestnut were displayed in the United States Capitol rotunda, an honor usually reserved for former Presidents, members of Congress, or military heroes. Gibson was buried in Arlington National Cemetery and posthumously awarded the Law Enforcement Purple Heart.[1] His name is engraved in the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial's west wall.[2]

On July 24, 2008, members of Congress paused for a moment of silence to mark the shooting's ten-year anniversary. On the east lawn of the Capitol, Democratic and Republican lawmakers planted a tree in memory of Gibson and Chestnut.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Schmitt, Eric (July 27, 1998). "Capitol Hill Slayings: The Police; Congress to Pay Tribute to Slain Officers". The New York Times. pp. A13. Retrieved August 10, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b Ashabranner, Brent K.; Ashabranner, Jennifer (2000). Badge of Valor: The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. Brookfield, Connecticut: Twenty-First Century Books. p. 11. ISBN 0-7613-1522-5. OCLC 43526707. Retrieved August 10, 2009. 
  3. ^ "Slain Capitol policemen praised as 'American heroes'". CNN. July 26, 1998. Retrieved August 10, 2009. 
  4. ^ Frieden, Terry (April 22, 1999). "Weston found incompetent to stand trial for Capitol shooting". CNN. Retrieved August 10, 2009. 
  5. ^ Reilly, Daniel W. (July 24, 2008). "Capitol pauses to honor slain police officers". The Politico. Retrieved August 10, 2009. 

External links[edit]

Honorary titles
Preceded by
Claude Pepper
Persons who have lain in state or honor
in the United States Capitol rotunda
(with Jacob Chestnut)

July 28, 1998
Succeeded by
Ronald Reagan