Constable John R. Samuels

Constable John R. Samuels

Raleigh County Constable's Office, West Virginia

End of Watch Sunday, October 2, 1927

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John R. Samuels

Constable Samuels was shot and killed after encountering one or more suspicious men next to Sophia Church at approximately 0200 hours. Constable Samuels exchanged shots with the suspect(s). The city police chief, responding to sounds of the shots, located a man lying beside Constable Samuels' roadster. The man had been shot in his hip three times and there were several bullet holes in the car. The chief could not find his constable, so he put the wounded man in his car and began to drive him to the hospital. As he was driving the suspect attacked the chief and stabbed him several times in the chest. Although wounded, the chief shot the suspect in his hand. He then managed to get the attention of a man living in a nearby house who drove them to the hospital.

Constable Samuels' body was not found until the following day at approximately noon only 25 feet from his car. He had been shot in the abdomen and a leg. Two pistols and Constable Samuel's service revolver were found near the seen. All three had been fired several times. The wounded man, now the only suspect, said he had no memory of anything. He was charged with murder and the attempted murder of the chief. The investigation revealed few clues as to others who could have been involved and if the suspect was the one who shot Constable Samuels. On April 8, 1928, the suspect was still in jail awaiting trial. Even though they had all the evidence they needed that he tried to kill the chief, officials were trying to decide if the wanted to go forward with a trial or dismiss the charges. Their decision and the suspect's future is unknown.

Constable Samuels had served as constable for only 9 months and was survived by his wife and two children.


  • Age 26
  • Tour 9 months
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; Pistol
  • Offender Shot and wounded

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Rest in peace and know that no passage of time will ever erase your service and sacrifice.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

October 2, 2020

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