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Sergeant John Lee Martin | Lee County Sheriff's Office, Virginia Lee County Sheriff's Office, Virginia


John Lee Martin

Lee County Sheriff's Office, Virginia

End of Watch: Monday, November 7, 1988

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 39

Tour: 17 years

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Incident Date: 11/4/1988

Weapon: Handgun; .44 caliber

Offender: Sentenced to life

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Sergeant Martin was shot at approximately 0300 hours while investigating a suspicious vehicle parked outside of a building. The suspect opened fire with a .44 caliber pistol as he approached the vehicle. Sergeant Martin returned fire, striking the driver's side door several times. He was able to give a description of the suspect and vehicle to backup officers before being transported to a local hospital. He succumbed to his wounds three days later.

The suspect's vehicle was found several days later burned beyond recognition except for the bullet holes found in the driver's door. The suspect was later apprehended and sentenced to life in prison.

Sergeant Martin had served with the agency for 17 years. He was survived by his wife and three children.

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I never knew you Mr. John Lee Martin, but I have gotten to know your sister through Facebook which came about long after your death, and I know that you must have been a wonderful officer by the things she has written here. My father was shot and killed in Lee County VA too. He had been called over to the Cold Springs Market about some men who were hiding out in the woods around the store. They came up behind him and shot him with his own gun, when he got out of his vehicle to go into the store to see what the call was about. It was getting dark and they came up behind him and got his own gun from it's holster. He was killed several years before you but I wonder if you knew him. His name was Wilson McLain.

Betty Swanson, BAS,
friend of your sister Geneva
November 8, 2015


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