Deputy Sheriff Bobby Joe Nolen

Deputy Sheriff Bobby Joe Nolen

Lauderdale County Sheriff's Office, Tennessee

End of Watch Tuesday, January 2, 1990

Bobby Joe Nolen

Deputy Bobby Nolen and Deputy Kevan Ward were shot and killed when they gave a ride to an 82-year-old man whose car had broken down. Unknown to the deputies, the man had a revolver hidden in his jacket. As they entered the city limits of Ripley the man shot both deputies in the back of the head. Their patrol car crossed the median, climbed up an embankment, and crashed into a field. A policeman found both deputies sitting upright with their seat belts on. Both were dead. The suspect was in the back seat, unconscious from the impact.

The suspect had a criminal history that dated back to 1927. He had been convicted of assaults, weapons violations, and various other crimes. He was committed to a mental institution where he died in September of 1995.

Deputy Nolen had served with the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department for one year. He was survived by his wife and five children.


  • Age 55
  • Tour 1 year
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .357 caliber
  • Offender Died in mental hospital

Most Recent Reflection

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What we normally would not expect, but what can well my brother, and God bless you and your family.

N.Y.P.D. Lt. Ray Flores (Ret.)

January 2, 2017

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