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Deputy Sheriff Joseph Norman Dennis | Harris County Sheriff's Office, Texas Harris County Sheriff's Office, Texas

Deputy Sheriff

Joseph Norman Dennis

Harris County Sheriff's Office, Texas

End of Watch: Tuesday, May 22, 2001

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 35

Tour: 14 years

Badge # 2062

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Handgun; .25 caliber

Offender: Committed suicide

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Deputy Joseph Dennis was shot and killed by a suspect after responding to a domestic disturbance between a brother and sister.

The brother had taken the sister's car the previous night and had returned it with damage the next morning. Deputy Dennis encountered the suspect several blocks away and while attempting to arrest him, a struggle ensued. During the struggle, Deputy Dennis was able to get a handcuff on the suspect, but the man was able to grab a concealed handgun and shot Deputy Dennis in the head. Deputy Dennis was flown to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

The suspect fled the scene but was arrested later in the afternoon with the handcuff still on his wrist and Deputy Dennis' weapon in his possession.

The suspect was sentenced to death for the murder on December 6, 2001. On January 29, 2008, the suspect committed suicide in his cell while awaiting his execution date.

Deputy Dennis had been employed with the Harris County Sheriff's Department for 14 years, and is survived by his wife, who is also a deputy, a son, a daughter, and his parents.

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It was the day my world froze. My brother beat me to the gates of heaven. Not a day goes by where I don't say a prayer and include him. The moment when I spoke to thousands of people on his behalf was the moment I felt him holding me up. He remains in my heart and continues to watch over me. He is forever a hero to me. I say a prayer to all of the fallen officers and know my brother is there to welcome them into the gates of heaven.

Ben Dennis
His little brother
September 4, 2015


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