Deputy Sheriff Joseph Elmer Whitworth

Deputy Sheriff Joseph Elmer Whitworth

Escambia County Sheriff's Office, Florida

End of Watch Thursday, April 22, 1954

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Joseph Elmer Whitworth

Deputy Whitworth was shot and killed during a barricade situation after a suspect fled from another deputy who tried to stop him for speeding.

The 25-year-old suspect fled to his nearby trailer, where he barricaded himself. He opened fire on several deputies when a tear gas bomb was fired through a window. After a three-hour gun battle, Deputy Whitworth was hit in the head with a load of buckshot as he fired another tear gas bomb into the trailer. The suspect was arrested and charged with murder.

At his trial, the suspect said he was in bed asleep when a tear gas bomb came through his window. He said he opened fire because he thought the deputies were criminals trying to kill him and his family. He was acquitted.

Deputy Whitworth had been with the Escambia County Sheriff's Office for one year. He was survived by his wife and two sons.


  • Age 37
  • Tour 1 year
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Shotgun
  • Offender Acquitted


Most Recent Reflection

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The color we bleed is that of deep blue,
the blood that is shed
is without asking for who.

No time to be afraid, no time to cry,
no choice in what we do,
where we go or when we die.
The color we bleed is that of deep blue.

All too often one will pay the
ultimate price,
Those who wear the uniform
accept this sacrifice.

Beyond the call of duty one day might
be mine, no regrets, sorrow or fear as
I walk the Blue Line.

The color I'll bleed is that of deep blue.

Sgt. Marlene Rittmanic

LT Steve Cappas

April 22, 2022

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