Officer James Russell Sorrow
September 19, 1996, Age 26, 4 Years Service
Officer Sorrow was shot and killed during an arrest attempt and foot pursuit of a wanted suspect on Joe Lewis Street. During the pursuit, Officer Sorrow ran around a shed where the suspect was waiting in ambush. The suspect shot Officer Sorrow in the face with a .22 pistol and executed him with four shots in the back of the head as he lay unconscious on the ground. The suspect was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. Officer Sorrow is survived by his wife and son, who was five months old at the time of his murder.
Officer Matthew M. Beacham, Jr.
September 30, 1983, Age 40, 16 Years Service
Officer Beacham suffered a fatal heart attack chasing an escaped prisoner. Officer Beacham was working the front desk when a 17-year-old car theft suspect escaped and ran out the front door. Officer Beacham gave chase and suffered a fatal heart attack.
Officer William Frank Chasteen
February 21, 1971, Age 47, 17 years service
Officer Chasteen was shot while questioning a subject regarding an earlier shooting near Booker’s Alley in Greenline. The suspect, known by Officer Chasteen, was standing on a corner with a pistol in his right hand. The officers drew their weapons and approached the suspect. Officer Chasteen, who was nearest Brooks, said, “Give me the gun, big guy.” Brooks raised his left hand and wiped the sweat from his face, and at the same time he raised the pistol in his right hand and started shooting Officer Chasteen in the chest. The suspect was wounded and fled. As Officer Woodall called for help on the vehicle radio, the suspect approached and fired on Officer Woodall. Officer Woodall then reloaded his empty revolver and returned fire. The suspect committed suicide shortly after the shooting.
Motorcycle Officer A.B. Hunt
May 1, 1932, Age 31, 2 years service
Officer Hunt was killed in a shoot-out with five bandits in the 700 block of Buncombe Street at the Triangle Service Station. Officer Hunt (in uniform) accompanied two detectives to investigate two suspicious subjects who were in a taxi (there had been armed robberies in the area involving hijacked taxis). As the officers approached the taxi, the subjects began firing. As the officers gained control of the subjects, three accomplices drove up in another vehicle and fired on the officers with a full automatic weapon. One subject approached Officer Hunt and shot him twice with a pistol, killing him instantly. The remaining detectives were out of ammunition and were unable to return fire as the five subjects escaped. Four of the five suspects were later captured, but only one shooter was convicted and given a life sentence.
Motorcycle Officer Arthur F. Lackey
March 3, 1925, Age 33, 2 years service
Officer Lackey was shot during a house search at 303 South Calhoun for a suspect who had shot another Greenville police officer. The suspect was hiding behind a curtain in the house and shot Officer Lackey with a pistol as he entered the darkened room. The suspect was fatally shot escaping from the house. The original incident began as officers were investigating a suspicious vehicle at the intersection of Augusta Street and Cline Alley. Sergeant Cox grabbed one suspect as he attempted to dispose of some whiskey. "As I seized his collar, he threw his hand to his hip. I thought he was reaching for a bottle of whiskey. He flashed his gun in my face instead and I pushed him backward with the barrel of the riot gun which I held. As I pumped the gun to get a cartridge in the chamber, he fired point blank. The bullet burned like a coal in my right side. I then fired at him as he dived around the corner of a nearby store. They say I hit him, a buck shot having split his chin and another his nose. If it hadn't been for my gun he would have shot me through the head."
Officer George Staples Burroughs
May 6, 1921, Age 48, 12 years service
Officer Burroughs was shot attempting to make an arrest during a domestic disturbance at 410 Westfield Street. Officer Burroughs approached the suspect, announced he was under arrest, and grabbed the suspect. A fight ensued in which the suspect punched Officer Burroughs, hit him with a board, hit him with a flower pot, and finally shot him in the abdomen, mortally wounding the officer.
Detectives Joseph L. Kitchens and Alfred M. Blair
October 5, 1919, Officer Kitchens, age 43 with 16 years service, and Officer Blair, age 42 with 11 years service
While raiding a gambling house in "Bucknertown," both detectives were shot and killed by a suspect who was playing cards at the time of the raid. Detective Kitchens was shot twice after entering the house. Detective Blair was shot in the heart while pursuing the suspect on foot. The suspect escaped and later shot two officers in Virginia, killing one, and was captured in Ohio. The suspect was extradited and executed in Virginia.
Chief of Police James E. Holcombe
May 11, 1915, Age 53
Chief Holcombe was shot during an arrest attempt/building entry of a barricaded suspect at 9 Gates Street. During the stand-off, without warning, the suspect shot an officer who was not behind cover. Chief Holcombe and another officer then attempted to "storm" the house. Chief Holcombe was shot while entering a window and died of medical complications on May 30, 1915.
Sergeant Oliver S. Gunnells
January 17, 1911, Age 62, 26 years service
Sergeant Gunnells was shot while investigating a suspicious suspect at the railway station at Augusta and Vardry. Sergeant Gunnells and his partner saw the suspect come from the tracks and go into the "colored" waiting area of the depot. When Sergeant Gunnells opened the door and shined his light into the room, the suspect fired on the officers. Sergeant Gunnells was shot twice with a .32 Colt auto pistol and mortally wounded. The suspect was an escaped convict from a Greenville chain gang on a crime spree. The suspect escaped and was captured in Augusta, Georgia after killing a railroad conductor. He was taken from the jail and lynched by a mob two days later.