Chief of Police J. B. Hamby

Chief of Police J. B. Hamby

Catoosa Police Department, Oklahoma

End of Watch Friday, September 1, 1978

J. B. Hamby

Chief J.B. Hamby was shot and killed after responding to a robbery in progress at a local driver's licensing station. Upon arriving he engaged two suspects in gunfire, fatally wounding one of them, and was wounded himself. Chief Hamby went outside to reload his revolver, giving the second suspect an opportunity to escape. Chief Hamby stumbled to a nearby laundromat for assistance and succumbed to his wounds on the floor.

The second suspect was eventually apprehended, convicted of murder, and sentenced to life. A ballistics test of the gun he used determined that he shot Chief Hamby. On October 28, 1985, he escaped from prison. His case aired on a October 7th, 1992, episode of Unsolved Mysteries. An anonymous tip led to his arrest in Spearfish, South Dakota. He was returned to prison and received additional time for escape. He was denied parole in 2008.

Chief Hamby was the only officer on the department. He had served in law enforcement for 20 years. He was survived by his two sons and is buried in Hamby Cemetery, Jay, Delaware County, Oklahoma.


  • Age 46
  • Tour 20 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; Pistol
  • Offender One shot and killed

Most Recent Reflection

View all 19 Reflections

In reading the reflections about J. B. it brings back a lot of memories as to when I went to Catoosa High School and being pulled over by J. B. for speeding through town. He was tough but always fair. He did make boys with long hair get hair cuts that is fact (no I did not get one my hair was short enough). When he pulled me over he saw my rifle that had belonged to my grandfather beside the seat. We ended up talking for awhile about guns and hunting. That was the reason I was speeding I was late for school for I had been hunting early that morning. I then had an excuse when I got to school that I had been stopped by J. B. In those days kids could carry guns to school. Friends called him J. B. He stopped me a few other times, but only to talk. He was involved a lot in making a difference in the lives of the youth of Catoosa Oklahoma. I know he did mine. Thank you my brother

Special Deputy L J Smith
Franklin County Sheriff's Office Winchester TN

December 29, 2017

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