Bio & Incident Details
Tour: 4 years
Badge # Not available
Cause: Gunfire (Accidental)
Patrolman Joseph Messer was accidentally shot and killed by another officer during a fight with a suspect.
Patrolman Messer had arrested the suspect and seven other people for fighting. All eight were released, but the suspect got into a traffic accident, causing considerable property damage to a yard, so he was taken into custody a second time.
While attempting to lock the suspect up, there was a scuffle between Patrolman Messer, the night desk sergeant, and the suspect. During the fight, the suspect got hold of the desk sergeant's .45 caliber pistol, but dropped it. The sergeant regained control of the weapon and while attempting to shoot the suspect, accidentally shot Patrolman Messer.
The suspect was charged with felonious assault with a deadly weapon and assaulting an officer.
Patrolman Messer had served with the Oliver Springs Police Department for three months. He had previously been a guard at the Brushy Mountain State prison at Petros and a deputy for four years with the Anderson County Sheriff's office. He was survived by his wife, son, daughter, parents, three brothers, and three sisters.