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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Uncle Junior ( Joe Smith Jr.) as a child he made sure I got Christmas every year my Mother was his baby sister that was killed on Christmas Day 1954 Uncle Junior was my , I sure miss you, your so Loved This was my GrandMothers baby son my Mother her youngest baby girl, so this was a great lost to me as I all way looked up too him, and Loved hearing the stories about my Mother he told !!! Uncle Junior they tore that Truck Stop down some years ago so now you can rest in more peace, You we and all way will he my Hero your nice Debra Nichols Elliott I sure wish I could find my Uncle's kids, they are so missed Thanks for Loving me Uncle Junior !!! Your niece Mary Lee Smith-Nichols daughter

Debbie Elliott

December 17, 2016

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