Deputy Sheriff John R. Klem, III

Deputy Sheriff John R. Klem, III

Forrest County Sheriff's Office, Mississippi

End of Watch Monday, September 30, 1985

John R. Klem, III

Deputy Klem succumbed to gunshot wounds received two weeks earlier while searching a subject. He had responded to a call at a convenience store about a man bothering the two female clerks at 0055 hours. When Deputy Klem arrived he recognized the suspect as being involved in an incident the previous night. As he patted the man down the suspect suddenly attacked him. The man gained control of Deputy Klem's weapon and shot him twice. Deputy Klem was transported to Forrest General Hospital where he succumbed to his wounds. The suspect was arrested and sentenced to life in prison.
Deputy Klem had been with the agency for 13 years and was survived by his wife and three sons.


  • Age 44
  • Tour 13 years
  • Badge Forrest-20

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Sunday, September 15, 1985
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Sentenced to life

Most Recent Reflection

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Mr. Klem was my American History professor. He always smelled like pipe tobacco. He had a very dry sense of humor. He loved his family. He was very proud of his wife who has a beautiful singing voice. You could talk to him about anything and he would really listen to what you were telling him. When I graduated I became a social worker with Child Protective Services. I always tried to follow his example and really listen to a persons story. Thank you, Mr. Klem.

Sharon Stagnaro-Purcella

January 23, 2018

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