Officer Plummer Ray Riggan

Officer Plummer Ray Riggan

Tarboro Police Department, North Carolina

End of Watch Saturday, March 3, 1917

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Plummer Ray Riggan

Officer Plummer Riggan and Officer Matt Gwatney were shot and killed while searching a house for illegal whiskey. When the officers and the police chief discovered the illegal stash the owner opened fire on them, killing both officers and wounding the city's mayor, who was with them. The suspect was arrested a short time later by citizens and other officers.

The suspect was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to 30 years in prison October 8, 1917. In 1897 the suspect was acquitted of murdering a man in Bethel. He died in prison September 30, 1920.

The police chief went insane as a result of the tragedy and had to be committed to a mental institution in Raleigh. A few weeks later he escaped and walked back to Tarboro. Miraculously as he reached the end of his walk his sanity had returned to him.

Both officers are buried beside each other in Tarboro at the Greenwood Cemetery on Howard Avenue. The house they were killed in was located on Trade Street where the Fountains on the Albemarle Retirement Community is now located.


  • Age 35
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Sentenced to 30 years

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Rest in peace Officer Riggan.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

March 25, 2020

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