Police Officer James Thomas Sawyer

Police Officer James Thomas Sawyer

Custer Police Department, South Dakota

End of Watch Tuesday, June 13, 1972

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James Thomas Sawyer

Officer James Sawyer was shot and killed when he interrupted a burglary in progress at a local saloon. The suspects were able to take Officer Sawyer hostage. They then took him to a nearby hillside where they shot and killed him with execution style with his own weapon.

The suspect was convicted of Officer Sawyer's murder and sentenced to life without parole.

Officer Sawyer had served with the Custer Police Department for 2 years.


  • Age 26
  • Tour 2 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Sentenced to life

Most Recent Reflection

View all 13 Reflections

I was employed with Custer Police Department. When I was hired, your name and circumstance of you death is always remembered.
You are a brave man and a Hero that is long remembered. RIP Brother. We will take it from here

Mark L Graf Motor Officer
Custer Police Department

August 28, 2022

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