Game wardens Marcus Whipps of Kasota (pictured left), Dudley Brady of Windom and Melvin Holt of Worthington were shot dead July 12, 1940 by the owner of a commercial fishery at Lake Sakatah in Waterville.
Holt and Brady had gone to Bryant Baumgartner's house to question him about illegal shipments of bullheads to Iowa. Baumgartner ordered the officers off his property and told them not to return without warrants.
They left and returned in the afternoon with Whipps.
Baumgartner was getting a shipment of fish ready to ship but when he returned to his home, he found two of the wardens. He again asked for warrants and ordered them off his property. As they left the barn, Whipps asked Baumgartner for his license to handle fish commercially. Baumgartner said he would get the license but he returned instead with a 12-gauge shotgun.
Whipps said, "It's no use trying to get smart with that thing, Baumgartner." Baumgartner replied, "I'll show you whether I'll get smart."
He then fired three shots and hit all three officers. Whipps was shot in the chest and fell to the ground. Holt was shot in the chest and Brady was shot in the back as he tried to run. All of them died instantly.
Baumgartner, 60, then walked over to a picket fence and turned the gun on himself.Their murder led to conservation officers being issued uniforms and side arms in 1941.