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Officer Plummer Ray Riggan | Tarboro Police Department, North Carolina Tarboro Police Department, North Carolina

Officer

Plummer Ray Riggan

Tarboro Police Department, North Carolina

End of Watch: Saturday, March 3, 1917

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 35

Tour: Not available

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Gun; Unknown type

Offender: Sentenced to 30 years

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Officer Plummer Riggan and Officer Matt Gwatney were shot and killed while searching a house for illegal whiskey. When the officers and the police chief discovered the illegal stash the owner opened fire on them, killing both officers and wounding the city's mayor, who was with them. The suspect was arrested a short time later by citizens and other officers.

The suspect was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to 30 years in prison October 8, 1917. In 1897 the suspect was acquitted of murdering a man in Bethel. He died in prison September 30, 1920.

The police chief went insane as a result of the tragedy and had to be committed to a mental institution in Raleigh. A few weeks later he escaped and walked back to Tarboro. Miraculously as he reached the end of his walk his sanity had returned to him.

Both officers are buried beside each other in Tarboro at the Greenwood Cemetery on Howard Avenue. The house they were killed in was located on Trade Street where the Fountains on the Albemarle Retirement Community is now located.

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Related Line of Duty Deaths

Officer Matt Ransom Gwatney
Tarboro Police Department, North Carolina
End of Watch: Saturday, March 3, 1917
Cause: Gunfire

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A tragic event primarily due to the loss of the lives of two Brother Officers, but the subsequent committal of the Chief as well.

Thankfully, aside from the loss of two men, the Mayor recovered, The Chief regained his sanity and the murderer never once tasted freedom again.

God Bless you Officer Riggan and may your eternal rest be ever peaceful.

Ptl. Jim Leahy, Jr.
Harvard University Police Dept.
March 3, 2016

 

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