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ODMP Remembers...

Acting Policeman William R. Richlands Police Department, Virginia

Acting Policeman

William R. "Sandy" Lawson

Richlands Police Department, Virginia

End of Watch: Wednesday, August 19, 1903

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 35

Tour: Not available

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Incident Date: 8/15/1903

Weapon: Handgun

Offender: Shot and killed

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Acting Policeman Sandy Lawson succumbed to a gunshot wound sustained four days earlier as he attempted to arrest a man who had robbed two boys the previous night.

The North Tazewell mayor notified Richlands authorities that the suspect was believed to have gone to Richlands. Policeman Lawson located the suspect and another man near the town's water tank and attempted to arrest them. As he stated his intentions, the suspect drew a gun and opened fire, striking him. Despite being wounded, Policeman Lawson returned fire and killed the suspect.

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Officer Lawson,
On today, the 114th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Richlands.


United States Border Patrol
August 19, 2017


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