Deputy Sheriff John Edward Penney

Deputy Sheriff John Edward Penney

Franklin County Sheriff's Department, Tennessee

End of Watch Thursday, April 6, 1944

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John Edward Penney

Deputy Sheriff Ed Penney was shot and killed while attempting to serve a warrant on a man in Duncan Town for attempting to burn down his home and barn.

When Deputy Penney arrived at the scene, he told the man he was under arrest. The man initially cooperated but suddenly produced a .38 caliber pistol and shot Deputy Penney.

Despite being mortally wounded, Deputy Penney was able to take the suspect into custody with the help of a taxicab driver who had accompanied him. He succumbed to his wound as the taxicab driver drove them towards the county jail.

The suspect was convicted of voluntary manslaughter and sentenced to five years.

Deputy Penney also served as the Chief of Police of Decherd and was running for Sheriff of Franklin County Sheriff's Department at the time of his death. He was survived by his wife and four children.


  • Age 52
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .38 caliber
  • Offender Sentenced to five years

arrest attempt, warrant

Most Recent Reflection

View all 8 Reflections

Deputy Sheriff Penney,
On today, the 80th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Franklin County. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

BPA Mike Casey
United States Border Patrol(Retired)

April 6, 2024

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