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William Floyd Martz

Michigan State Police
Paw Paw Post

March 12, 1925


On March 10, 1925, 23-year old Trooper William Floyd Martz and his partner, Trooper G. A. Stockhill had been assigned to guard 5 suspects of the Millburg State Bank robbery, who were being held at the Berrien County jail.  At 8:00 AM, sitting in the first floor lobby, Trooper Stockhill took his revolver out to inspect it when a bullet accidentally discharged, striking Trooper Martz.  He was taken to the St. Joseph Sanitarium where he gradually improved over the next day but just as his mother and brother arrived from his hometown of Detroit, he passed away; 8:50 AM on March 12, 1925.  Only 5 minutes earlier, a nurse asked him how he was feeling and he replied, "Fine".

Berrien County Undersheriff Frank A. Paget announced on March 13, 1925 that no inquest would be held in the shooting and it was declared accidental, clearing Trooper G. A. Stockhill of any wrongdoing.  Trooper Martz's death certificate shows cause of death as, "bullet wound through abdomen, accidental."

William Floyd Martz was born March 3, 1902 and served in the Marines before becoming a Michigan State Trooper.  His body was taken back to Detroit for burial.

--Chriss Lyon

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