Former Humboldt County Sheriff killed in line of duty remembered


EUREKA, CA. – Former Humboldt County Sheriff Gene Cox was killed in the line of duty 35 years ago this week.

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office remembers Sheriff Cox as “a sheriff who never carried a gun, and a man whose laugh you could hear ringing across the building.”

In 1982, four weeks before his retirement, Sheriff Cox was shot with a rifle by Clarence Eugene McCutcheon, while responding to a request by his father-in-law to handle a dispute at the Ebb Tide RV Park in Eureka.

Cox’s father-in-law, Jack Alton, and a former local education official Claire Montgomery, were also killed by the gunfire.


Sheriff Cox served in the 1950’s for the Arcata Police Department before joining the Sheriff’s Office and serving as sheriff for 16 years.

When eureka police officers responded, they fired and killed shooter McCutcheon.

Memories of his legacy remain, and his name is inscribed at the National Police Officer Memorial in Washington, D.C.