Rural Police Officer Elliott P. Harris

Rural Police Officer Elliott P. Harris

York County Sheriff's Office, South Carolina

End of Watch Sunday, July 17, 1932

Elliott P. Harris

Rural Police Officer Elliott Harris was shot and killed after he stopped a man and his wife in their car on Highway 21 near Fort Mill and attempted to arrest the man for reckless driving.

As a struggle ensued with the man, his wife snatched Officer Harris' revolver from his holster and shot him four times. Unable to start their car, the couple took the slain officer's car and sped on to Charlotte, North Carolina, where they surrendered to the Charlotte Police.

The slaying immediately evolved into a triple tragedy. The woman's mother suffered a heart attack and died when she was told what happened. A man racing by motorcycle to tell Officer Harris' wife of his death, collided with an automobile and was killed instantly.

The suspect was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to death. Because she was pregnant her execution date was to be determined after she delivered her child. Public outrage over a mother being executed persuaded Governor Ibra C. Blackwood to commute her sentence to life on January 10, 1933. She was pardoned by Governor Olin D. Johnston on April 10, 1945. For his part in the murder, her husband was sentenced to seven months in prison.

Officer Harris was survived by his wife and four children.

Bio

  • Age 26
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Pardoned in 1945

Most Recent Reflection

View all 5 Reflections

My mom remembers this like yesterday and we talk about it often. So sad as he left behind a widow with 4 small children and she was forced to work all her life. "Tootie" said you were a class act, Elliott and may you rest in eternal peace and we thank you for your service. Your name is the first listed on the monument at The Moss Justice Center. I wish Eula could know you finally were honored in the way you should have been. Won't say good - bye but see you soon.

Suzie Whitton
great niece

November 4, 2011

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