Deputy Sheriff Joe Smith, Jr.

Deputy Sheriff Joe Smith, Jr.

Cumberland County Sheriff's Office, North Carolina

End of Watch Saturday, January 5, 1974

Joe Smith, Jr.

Deputy Joe Smith was shot and killed by a hitchhiker while giving directions to a truck driver.

The truck driver had picked up the hitchhiker. While Deputy Smith sat in his patrol car the suspect exited the truck and shot him in the head. The suspect then stole Deputy Smith's patrol car and wrecked it while being pursued by police. The suspect fled on foot into a residential area and was captured minutes later.

There was no motive for the murder. The suspect was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to 30 years in prison April 1, 1974. He was paroled July 8, 1988.

Deputy Smith had served with the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office For Two Years. He had retired from the United States Air Force two years ealier. He was survived by his wife and five children.


  • Age 41
  • Tour 2 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Paroled in 1988

Most Recent Reflection

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Thinking of ya Uncle Joe...RIP...

Trf Ofc. (ret) G V Daunhauer
Jacksonville Sheriff Office

January 5, 2018

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