Jacob Chestnut (Jacob Joseph Chestnut)

Jacob Chestnut

Jacob Chestnut (April 28, 1940 – July 24, 1998), one of the two United States Capitol Police officers killed in the line of duty on July 24, 1998, was the first African American to lie in honor in the United States Capitol. Chestnut is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. His funeral included a speech by President Bill Clinton and a fly-over by military jets in a missing man formation. Officer Jacob Chestnut was on guard at the Document Door entrance to the U.S. Capitol when gunman Russell Eugene Weston Jr. entered. Chestnut, manning a metal detector, was caught unaware of Weston, who shot Chestnut through the back of the head at point-blank range, killing him instantly. Officer Chestnut and fellow police officer Detective John Gibson were the only two people killed in the attack. A female tourist suffered minor injuries after bullets grazed her shoulder and face. Jacob Chestnut retired as a master sergeant from the United States Air Force after 20 years of service in the Air Force Security Forces. His career included two tours in Vietnam.  In 1998, the House of Representatives passed a motion to designate a post office at 11550 Livingston Road in Oxon Hill, Maryland as the “Jacob Joseph Chestnut Post Office Building”. In 2000, the building housing the United States Air Force’s 20th Security Forces Squadron at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina was dedicated to Chestnut.

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  • April, 28, 1940
  • USA


  • July, 24, 1998
  • USA
  • Washington D.C.

Cause of Death

  • gunshot wounds


  • Arlington National Cemetery
  • Arlington, Virginia
  • USA

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