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Police Officer I Donnie Gene Kelley | Leland Police Department, Mississippi Leland Police Department, Mississippi

Police Officer I

Donnie Gene Kelley

Leland Police Department, Mississippi

End of Watch: Sunday, February 26, 1978

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 28

Tour: 4 years

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Incident Date: 9/20/1977

Weapon: Shotgun

Offender: Sentenced to 30 years

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Officer Kelley was shot and critically wounded when he attempted to arrest three men who had robbed a grocery store near Vicksburg. Two suspects exited their vehicle and opened fire with shotguns when Officer Kelley pulled them over on Highway 61 in Leland. Officer Kelley was hit in the face with shotgun pellets fired through his windshield. Minutes later the three suspects were apprehended by the Leland police chief.

It was later discovered the car they were driving was stolen and they had killed the owner and threw his body in a swamp near Belle Chase, Louisiana. On December 10, 1977, the two suspects who shot Officer Kelley were convicted of aggravated assault on a police officer and sentenced to 30 years in prison. They received a life sentence for the armed robbery of the grocery store. Ten weeks later Officer Kelley died from his wounds.

Officer Kelley had served with the Leland Police Department for four years and was survived by his wife. The bridge located at the interchange of U.S. Highway 61 and U.S. Highway 82 in Leland, Mississippi, was designated the "Donnie Gene Kelley Memorial Bridge."

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Officer Kelley, thank you for your dedicated service to The City and Citizens of Leland, MS. You will never be forgotten! Continue to Rest in Peace Brother in Blue!

Corporal Tony Dunn
Mississippi Highway Patrol, Troop D
February 26, 2015

 

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