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Deputy Sheriff Carlton Edmund Smith | Lane County Sheriff's Office, Oregon Lane County Sheriff's Office, Oregon

Deputy Sheriff

Carlton Edmund Smith

Lane County Sheriff's Office, Oregon

End of Watch: Tuesday, July 6, 1965

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 33

Tour: 2 years

Badge # 15

Cause: Gunfire

Incident Date: 7/6/1965

Weapon: Handgun; .38 caliber

Suspect: Died in prison

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Deputy Carlton Smith was shot and killed after stopping a vehicle for speeding in the Valley River Center area. During the stop, two suspects exited the vehicle and shot him seven times. The suspects were escapees from the Oregon State Penitentiary.

Two days earlier, the pair robbed a Tigard, Oregon, motel and raped the owner. The next day they robbed a Portland bank. After they killed Deputy Smith, they kidnapped a woman and her 12 year-old son and forced them to drive to Marion Forks where they stole a truck and took four more people hostage. The suspects then drove to Sacramento, California, where they released all six hostages unharmed. The next day they broke into a Sacramento home, kidnapped a couple, and forced them along with their 19 month-old daughter, to drive them to Nevada. They later released them unharmed and surrendered to police.

Both suspects were convicted of first degree murder and kidnapping and sentenced to two life terms. On May 17, 1974, one of the suspects escaped from the Oregon Penitentiary. He fled to Washington with a pair of elderly hostages whom he killed near Spokane. Four weeks later he was shot and critically wounded by a police officer near Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, after a standoff. He received two life sentences for murdering the elderly couple and a 75 year term for kidnapping. He died in prison April 27, 2005. The other suspect died in prison September 21, 2004.

Deputy Smith had served with the Lane County Sheriff's Department for only 2 weeks and had previously served with the Springfield Police Department for 2 years. He is survived by his wife and six children. One of his sons went on to also serve with the Lane County Sheriff's Department. Another son also became a police officer.

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The loss of Deputy Smith, like the loss of too many other law enforcement officers is tragic and unforgivable. They put their lives on the line each day for us. Their families send them to work never knowing for sure if they will return unharmed. I joined the Lane County Sheriff's Office two years after Deputy Smith was killed. He was still a fond memory for all who know him. He would have been proud that Randy followed him to the Sheriff's Office. I met with Randy a couple days after I lost my son, a Eugene Police Officer who was shot and killed on April 22, 2011, during a traffic stop. It was helpful to talk to Randy and gave me hope that Chris' four year old daughter would be okay. Rest well Deputy Smith

John Kilcullen, Patrol and Detective
Former Lane County Sheriff's Office
July 7, 2014

 

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