Bio & Incident Details
Tour: 4 years
Badge # Not available
Weapon: Officer's handgun
Offender: Committed suicide
Patrolman James Thomas was shot and killed with his own service weapon while attempting to place two brothers in holding cells at the Pilot Mountain Police Department. After placing the second brother in a holding cell, he reopened the door to the other holding cell at which point the subject inside attacked him.
Both brothers were charged with murder and released after posting bail.
The two were awaiting trial when on Saturday night, July 30th, 1966, one of the subjects shot and killed a man at a bar and grill ten miles east of Mount Airy. The next day the subject was spotted in his vehicle by a Patrick County, Virginia, sheriff's deputy near Stuart, Virginia. When he stopped the car the man jumped out and ran. When the deputy and several other officers cornered him he committed suicide.
Patrolman Thomas had served with the Pilot Mountain Police Department for four years. He was survived by his wife and four children.