John Gibson (police officer)

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John Gibson
Detective John Gibson, USCP.jpg
Born(1956-03-29)March 29, 1956
DiedJuly 24, 1998(1998-07-24) (aged 42)
Resting placeArlington National Cemetery, Washington, D.C.
38°52′48″N 77°04′12″W / 38.880000°N 77.070000°W / 38.880000; -77.070000
RelativesEvelyn (wife)
Kristin, Daniel and John (children)
Police career
CountryUnited States
Allegiance Washington, D.C.
DepartmentUnited States Capitol Police
Service years1980 – 1998
AwardsLaw 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 police officers 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]

Murder of John Gibson
Part of U.S. Capitol shooting incident (1998)
LocationUnited States Capitol
Washington, D.C.
Coordinates38°53′23″N 77°0′32″W / 38.88972°N 77.00889°W / 38.88972; -77.00889
DateJuly 24, 1998 (1998-07-24)
3:40 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. (EST)
Attack type
Weapons.38-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver
DeathsTwo: Jacob Chestnut, John Gibson
InjuredThree: Angela Dickerson (tourist), Douglas McMillian (USCP officer), Russell Eugene Weston Jr.
PerpetratorRussell Eugene Weston, Jr.

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

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[5], 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.[6]

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. p. 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. ^ ""Lying in State or in Honor"". US Architect of the Capitol (AOC). Retrieved 2018-09-01.
  6. ^ 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