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Chief of Police J. B. Hamby | Catoosa Police Department, Oklahoma Catoosa Police Department, Oklahoma

Chief of Police

J. B. Hamby

Catoosa Police Department, Oklahoma

End of Watch: Friday, September 1, 1978

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 46

Tour: 20 years

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Handgun; Pistol

Offender: One shot and killed

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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.

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He was a great officer. Our town suffered a great loss when we lost Chief Hamby. These are the two special memories I have of Chief Hamby. When I was in high school, sometimes I sat with friends at the nearby cafe. It was a special honor when he sat at our booth. Once when I was on a date with a young man from Tulsa, J.B. pulled us over. I believe he was just checking out the "stranger in town". When John E. got out of the car J.B. looked over at me, I smiled and I know he recognized me. So after checking the drivers license he sent us on our way. He was a good man and a great law enforcement officer.

Linda Phillips Deal
Catoosa resident
August 30, 2016


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