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Deputy Sheriff John Henry Wiggins | DeSoto County Sheriff's Office, Florida DeSoto County Sheriff's Office, Florida

Deputy Sheriff

John Henry Wiggins

DeSoto County Sheriff's Office, Florida

End of Watch: Saturday, November 25, 1916

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 33

Tour: Not available

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Shotgun

Offender: Not available

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Deputy Sheriff John Wiggins was shot and killed while searching for a man who had just committed a murder in Wauchula.

He had been notified of the murder, that occurred near the Petiwate Turpentine Still, and positioned himself at a bridge on the roadway leading from the facility. The murder suspect approached the bridge a short time later. As Deputy Wiggins ordered him to stop the man opened fire, striking Deputy Wiggins in the face.

Deputy Wiggins was taken to Tampa for treatment but died near Lakeland before arriving at the hospital.

The subject who murdered him was arrested and charged with his murder. The conviction was overturned by the Supreme Court. He was then tried for the original murder, sentenced to death, and subsequently executed by hanging on August 16th, 1918.

Deputy Wiggins was one one of three triplets, and was survived by his sister and brother.

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The Sheriffs of Florida and their deputies will never forget the sacrifice you and your family made to uphold our laws and protect society.

Your name has been inscribed on the Florida Sheriffs and the National Law Enforcement Memorial and in our hearts. May you forever rest in peace.

A scripture inscribed on the Florida Sheriffs Law Enforcement Memorial:

"Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called the children
of God." Matthew 5:9

Executive Director, Steve Casey, Florida Sheriffs Association
April 6, 2017


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