Gulfport officers who have died in the line of duty - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Gulfport officers who have died in the line of duty

The following is a list of the Gulfport officers who have died in the line of duty, as prepared by the Gulfport Police Department:

Town Marshal Walter E. Richardson

On December 19, 1900, Town Marshal Walter E. Richardson responded to a disturbance complaint involving a local pastor identified as Alfred Lewis. While attempting to calm Lewis down, Lewis' two sons approached him from behind and shot him three times in the back. At the time of his death, Walter Richardson had 38 days remaining in his position as town marshal. Richardson was survived by his wife.

Chief of Police Charles Dickey

On January 21, 1913, at approximately 4:00 a.m., Chief Charles Dickey was summoned to assist other officers in a burglary complaint at 26th Avenue and 13th Street in downtown Gulfport. While conducting a building search for the suspect, Chief Dickey was shot in the back by Percy Newkirk who had earlier committed a robbery in Biloxi. Chief Dickey was born in Osyka, Mississippi and died at the age of thirty-seven.

Patrol Officer Jacob Otto Wolff

On September 7, 1937, Officer Jacob Wolff and his partner, Edward Van-Zandt, responded to a complaint involving a stolen vehicle at a tire store located on 13th Street in downtown Gulfport. As Officer Wolff and Officer Van-Zandt approached the stolen vehicle, the two occupants began to fire on the officers. During the ensuing gun battle, Officer Wolff was shot three times and later succumbed to the injuries he sustained. Officer Van-Zandt was also wounded. Officer Jacob Wolff was fifty-eight years old at the time of his death and was survived by his wife.

Patrol Officer Clifton Tillman

On July 3, 1943, Officer Clifton Tillman and his partner, Officer William Turner, responded to a complaint of an armed individual threatening to kill another individual in a cafeteria near the intersection of 25th Avenue and 28th Street in Gulfport. As Officer Tillman approached in his vehicle, the suspect fired a gunshot through the windshield striking Officer Tillman in the chest. Officer Tillman died forty-five minutes later at a local hospital. The suspect was also killed during the incident. Officer Tillman was forty-three years old and was survived by his wife.

Motor Officer Wayne Woodrow Scarborough

On May 5, 1970, Motor Officer Wayne Scarborough was dispatched to investigate a traffic accident in east Gulfport. While responding with emergency lights and siren, a motor vehicle pulled into his path resulting in a collision. Officer Scarborough died as a result of injuries sustained in the accident. Officer Scarborough was twenty-two years old at the time of his death and had previously served in the United States Marine Corp where he had earned four Purple Heart medals during an eleven month tour of duty in Vietnam.

Patrol Officer Joe Douglas Spiers

On November 21, 1971, at approximately 6:15 a.m., Officer Joe Douglas Spiers and his partner, Officer David West, affected the arrest of Marjorie Bral for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. Bral was an elderly female with her leg in a cast. Following her arrest, the officers displayed compassion for her circumstances, and failed to handcuff her during transport. One block before reaching the police department, Bral produced a handgun which was concealed in her cast and shot Officer Spiers in the back of the head. Officer Spiers was twenty-three years old at the time of his death and had previously served in the United States Navy where he had earned two Purple Heart medals during his tour of duty in Vietnam. Officer Spiers was survived by his wife and two sons.

K-9 Officer Buford Dedeaux

On June 7, 1979, at approximately 12:44 a.m., Officer Buford Dedeaux stopped to investigate a suspicious individual riding a bicycle near Yeager's Grocery Store on 25th Avenue north of 34th Street in Gulfport. After asking the individual to empty a small bag he was carrying, the individual produced a .25 caliber handgun and shot Officer Dedeaux twice. Officer Dedeaux was thirty-four years old at the time of his death and was survived by his wife and two sons.

Motor Lieutenant Robert J. Curry

On August 14, 2008 at approximately 10:30 a.m., Lt. Rob Curry was enroute to a funeral escort when a vehicle pulled out in front of him while driving north on Highway 49, causing fatal injuries. Lieutenant Curry was thirty-nine years old at the time of his death and is survived by his wife, who is also a Lt. with the Gulfport Police Department, a daughter and son.

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