Deputy Sheriff Joseph Norman Dennis

Deputy Sheriff Joseph Norman Dennis

Harris County Sheriff's Office, Texas

End of Watch Tuesday, May 22, 2001

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Joseph Norman Dennis

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.


  • Age 35
  • Tour 14 years
  • Badge 2062

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .25 caliber
  • Offender Committed suicide

Most Recent Reflection

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Was actually looking up my Son Joseph on Google and for whatever reason this popped up. God is good all the time, but we don't have answers for why bad things happen to good people. Joe Dennis and his brothers and sisters were in my youth; family. I spent Christmas', thanksgivings, vacations. Summers, winters, springs and falls with them, all the time. Our dads were our hero's, we wanted to be just like them. We were both Steeler fans and loved watching them win. I did not know you as an adult, I had drifted far away from all friends and family. I remember going to work and hearing your name on the radio, very sad day. I went to the funereal and Saw your sister and mike, they hugged me like we had never missed a day. Ben was so small the last time, they all looked like they did when we were kids. As sad as I felt that day I was so blessed to have learned you had become a follower of Christ. I had done the same about 4 years earlier. So I know you are in great hands. I pray for your Mom, dad, and of course Ben, Debbie, and Mike all the time. As well as your wife, and children whom I never met. You were a brother back then Joe, not my cousin. I know you knew that. Thank you for serving as an officer. Love you. See you when the Lord calls me home.

David Thomas Hanlon

June 28, 2018

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