Deputy Sheriff Norman Helmer was shot and killed while attempting to arrest a hobo who had threatened to shoot another man.

Deputy Helmer, another deputy, the sheriff and a game warden had gone in search of the hobo near a set of railroad tracks.

Deputy Helmer was about 100 yards ahead of the group when several boys who were accompanying him spotted the subject hiding in bushes. The subject complied when Deputy Helmer told him to put down a rifle and come out of the bushes. When the man emerged, however, he produced a .45 caliber revolver and the two exchanged shots. Deputy Helmer and the man were both killed in the exchange.

Deputy Helmer was survived by his wife, two children, parents, and three siblings. He is buried at Greenwood Cemetery in Bemidji, Minnesota.