Deputy Sheriff DeWitt Talmage Smith

Deputy Sheriff DeWitt Talmage Smith

Cochran County Sheriff's Department, Texas

End of Watch Friday, December 8, 1939

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DeWitt Talmage Smith

Deputy DeWitt Smith was shot and killed as he Sheriff Standefar investigated a hit-and-run accident.

The officers had received information about the whereabouts of the vehicle involved in the accident and after a short chase stopped the vehicle and the three suspects who were believed to be involved in auto theft in several towns. Sheriff Standefar ordered two of the suspects into his patrol car, and one of the suspects to follow in their car. When Deputy Smith got into the back seat of the patrol car one of the suspects pulled a weapon and fired into the car. The bullet his Deputy Smith, who returned fire and hit the suspect four times, killing him. The second suspect in the car attempted to shoot the sheriff but his gun jammed and he escaped on foot; third suspect attended to Deputy Smith while the Sheriff went for help. Deputy Smith was taken to the hospital in Morton where he died an hour later.

The two surviving suspects were apprehended and sentenced to life in prison.

Deputy Smith had been with the agency for just under four years. He was survived by his wife and three children.


  • Age 46
  • Tour 4 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Shot and killed

Most Recent Reflection

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Rest in peace Deputy Sheriff Smith.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

September 20, 2019

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