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Patrolman Wister Lee Reece | North Carolina Highway Patrol, North Carolina North Carolina Highway Patrol, North Carolina

Patrolman

Wister Lee Reece

North Carolina Highway Patrol, North Carolina

End of Watch: Tuesday, November 5, 1957

Bio & Incident Details

Age: Not available

Tour: Not available

Badge # 39

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Gun; Unknown type

Offender: Died in prison

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Patrolman Wister Reece was shot and killed in Richmond County after stopping the driver of a vehicle for speeding.

After the shooting, the suspect fled but was later pulled over by Patrolman J. T. Brown in Lee County. During that stop the suspect also shot and killed Patrolman Brown. The vehicle, later found to be stolen, was being driven by a New York state mental hospital escapee. The escapee was en route to Mississippi to attempt to break his brother out of death row.

Three weeks later the suspect was captured in Bakersfield, California. Since his escape a month earlier, it was discovered that he was involved in numerous burglaries in Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, and North Carolina.

He was convicted of two counts of first degree murder and sentenced to two life terms on March 19, 1958. The suspect, who was North Carolina's oldest and longest serving inmate, died in prison July 21, 2012. He was 90 years old.

A section of U.S. 74 near Hamlet, North Carolina, was renamed in honor of Patrolman Reece. He is buried in Eastside Cemetery, Rockingham, Richmond County, North Carolina.

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Related Line of Duty Deaths

Patrolman J. T. Brown
North Carolina Highway Patrol, North Carolina
End of Watch: Tuesday, November 5, 1957
Cause: Gunfire

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Thinking of you today. Thank you for your service to this great nation and the state of NC.

Sgt. Jason Fleming
NC State Highway Patrol
November 5, 2016

 

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