Deputy Sheriff John Wesley West

Deputy Sheriff John Wesley West

Scott County Sheriff's Department, Tennessee

End of Watch Monday, March 7, 1927

John Wesley West

Deputy John West died two days after being shot by another deputy.

On March 5th Deputy West and Deputy Ben Fowler went to public movie showing in a school auditorium in Robbins, Tennessee. Also in the audience that evening was the town physician, Dr. Wylie E. Foust. During the movie it was noted that Deputy Fowler was visibly drunk.

Deputy Fowler became enraged when some children in the movie audience laughed too loudly. He jumped up from his seat in the middle of the audience and shouted threats of arresting the children. At that point, his fellow deputy, Deputy West, and Dr. Foust got up from their own seats and tried to calm Deputy Fowler down which only infuriated him further.

Deputy Fowler then pulled both of his pistols from their holsters, brandished them in the crowded auditorium and opened fire, killing Deputy West and Dr. Foust. He was subsequently convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death. He was executed in the Tennessee electric chair on January 25, 1928.


  • Age 53
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Saturday, March 5, 1927
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Not available

Most Recent Reflection

View all 10 Reflections

Grandpa, its been 86 years, this week is a memorial for you and others who died in the line of duty in order for others to be safe, i hope that now retired, I have at least lived up to your legacy. Your great grandchildren, Jessica and Jon, have been excellent examples as parents for their children to which you and grandma were with the nine children she raised after your death. We will meet again soon grandpa with grandma, mom, and dad. Love you always.

Lieutenant John West
Hidalgo County Sheriff Office/ retired

May 14, 2013

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.