|Conflict:||Galactica military coup|
|Place:||Heavy hauler transport Gideon|
|Result:||Needed food and supplies are forcefully taken back to Galactica. Four civilians are killed by marine gunfire after control of the situation is lost, and Boarding Party 6 is overrun by unruly civilians. The civilian deaths result in further distrust of the military, and further divide the fleet.|
The Gideon Massacre is a confrontation between Colonial Marines and Colonial civilians that took place on the heavy hauler Gideon, after the ship's crew refused to resupply Galactica following the forced removal of President Laura Roslin, dissolving of the Quorum of Twelve, and the declaration of martial law by Galactica executive officer, Saul Tigh (TRS: "Resistance").
Events leading up to the massacre began after Galactica commanding officer William Adama is shot by Sharon "Boomer" Valerii after returning from Kobol on a successful mission to destroy a Cylon Basestar that had been orbiting the planet, and preventing a rescue of the Colonial crew stuck on the surface below. While Adama is incapacitated, Saul Tigh fills in as new fleet leader and CO of Galactica, however his leadership is plagued with alcohol abuse, leading to questionable command decisions, which are further compounded by his wife, Ellen Tigh (TRS: "Scattered", "Valley of Darkness", "Fragged"). Prior to Adama being shot, he calls for Roslin to step down, after she sends Galactica pilot Kara Thrace back to Caprica to retrieve the Arrow of Apollo. She refuses, and is forcefully removed after Galactica isolates Colonial One (TRS: "Kobol's Last Gleaming, Part I", "Kobol's Last Gleaming, Part II"). After Roslin is able to speak to the Quorum from her jail cell, who realizes her to be the "dying leader" who will lead the fleet to Earth as stated in prophecy, Tigh takes the situation a step farther and dissolves the Quorum, and declares martial law, an act which divides the fleet into two factions (TRS: "Fragged").
In protest of the declaration by Galactica, groups of civilians band together, and refuse to resupply the battlestar with needed supplies. Rather than negotiate, Colonel Tigh sends a stern warning after receiving ill advice from his wife, that he should be more authoritative. Still refusing to resupply the battlestar, Tigh orders marine strike teams to board the ships, and take the supplies by any means necessary.
On board Gideon, Boarding Party 6, led by Viper pilot Lt. Joe "Hammerhead" Palladino, is met with yelling and screaming civilians, as crewmen work to remove the needed supplies. Untrained in crowd control tactics, Paladino quickly loses control of the situation, and the crowd becomes more confrontational to the marines keeping them back. After what sounds to be a gunshot is heard, the marines open fire on the panicked crowd, and before Palladino can regain control, shoot and kill four unarmed civilians (TRS: "Resistance").
The incident increases strains on military and civilian relations in an already fragile fleet, leading many to side with Laura Roslin's faction. With the help of a few Galactica crew members, President Roslin is able to escape captivity on Galactica, and find shelter aboard the transport Kimba Huta. From there she is able to convince 24 ships, consisting of ~18,000 people to follow her back to Kobol in search of Earth. Adama, now back in command, plans to leave them to their fates, and continue on without them, however, his crew is able to convince him otherwise, and seeks to reunite the fleet instead (TRS: "Home, Part I", "Home, Part II").
The incident leaves Palladino troubled, and days later seeks to punish Colonel Tigh for his questionable decisions. However, is unable to follow through once confronted, and Tigh talks him down. Palladino's status following Tigh's harassment is unknown.
The incident is also hyped by a Fleet News Service reporter, D'anna Biers, as she seeks out information from Galactica officers and crew. Unknown to the Colonials at the time, she is a Cylon copy looking to use the incident as a means of turning public opinion against Commander Adama and Galactica. She is the one that names the incident, the Gideon Massacre (TRS: "Final Cut").