Special Agent Thomas Adolphus Owens, Jr.

Special Agent Thomas Adolphus Owens, Jr.

Central of Georgia Railroad Police Department, Railroad Police

End of Watch Tuesday, May 10, 1938

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Thomas Adolphus Owens, Jr.

Special Agent Tom Owens was shot and killed by a hobo who was hitching a ride in a slag-filled gondola car.

He and his partner were searching the moving train as it departed the Woodlawn Yards in Birmingham, Alabama. The agents observed two men board the slow-moving freight train and began searching for them. As they walked atop the cars they came across the two men hiding in the gondola car and were immediately fired upon. Agent Owens was shot and killed before drawing his weapon. His partner returned fire and killed the subject despite being seriously wounded himself.

Special Agent Owens had previously served with the Troy, Alabama, Police Department. He was survived by his wife, two children, brother, and three sisters.


  • Age 41
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Location Alabama
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Shot and Killed


Most Recent Reflection

View all 6 Reflections

Special Agent Owens, you died the year after my Dad was born. He spent many years employed by the New York Central Railroad, five of those years as a cop before joining my hometown PD. I know how tough being a RR Cop can be and I thank you for all your efforts to help protect one of America's greatest assets. It's now been 84 years and you have not, nor will be forgotten.

I hope and pray your partner, though no doubt long since gone, FULLY recovered from his wounds. I do NOT mourn the animal who shot you both.

God Bless and may your eternal rest be ever peaceful, Brother.

Ptl. Jim Leahy, Jr.
Harvard University Police Department

May 10, 2022

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