Sheriff William T. Cate

Sheriff William T. Cate

Hamilton County Sheriff's Department, Tennessee

End of Watch Thursday, September 14, 1882

William T. Cate

Sheriff Cate and Deputy Sheriff John Conway were shot and killed when a prisoner they were transporting escaped.

Sheriff Cate and Deputy Conway were on a train transporting three prisoners who had just been convicted of murder. When the train stopped in Sweet Water, Tennessee, three men entered the train car. One man was the brother of one of the prisoners. He approached Deputy Conway from behind, drew a pistol and shot and killed Deputy Conway. The suspect then took the keys from Deputy Conway's pocket and unlocked his brother and the other two prisoners. Sheriff Cate rushed the men, but was shot several times and killed.

The three men who entered the train and the brother then jumped into the engine car, and at gunpoint, ordered the motorman to start moving the train. The train went through three towns without stopping before the four suspects jumped from the engine and fled on horses.

When the train stopped at Knoxville, the other two prisoners, who were not involved in the escape, surrendered to officers.

The killer was recaptured and executed in 1883.

Bio

  • Age Not available
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; Pistol
  • Offender Executed in 1883

Most Recent Reflection

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Your heroism and service is honored today, the 127th anniversary of your death. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service. My cherished son Larry Lasater was a fellow police officer murdered in the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

Rest In Peace

Phyllis Loya

Anonymous

September 17, 2009

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