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Patrolman Joseph Eual Messer | Oliver Springs Police Department, Tennessee Oliver Springs Police Department, Tennessee


Joseph Eual Messer

Oliver Springs Police Department, Tennessee

End of Watch: Saturday, July 29, 1967

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 42

Tour: 4 years

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire (Accidental)

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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.

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Most Recent Reflection

I knew my uncle by his middle name Eual I was home on orders from the marines on my way to Vietnam when he was shot and killed. I will never forget him he was a great uncle scared of nothing. After I retired from the marines I have followed in his footsteps.

Chief Lonnie Webb
Homerville police dept
May 7, 2015


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