Chief of Police James C. Smith

Chief of Police James C. Smith

Barbourville Police Department, Kentucky

End of Watch Friday, July 20, 1962

James C. Smith

Chief James Smith was shot and killed after responding to a domestic disturbance.

As he and another officer spoke with the suspect, the suspect grabbed a shotgun and fired once striking the chief in the abdomen. Both officers returned fire critically wounding the suspect.

The 55 year-old suspect was convicted of voluntary manslaughter and sentenced to 21 years in prison. In 1936 he had served a year in prison for biting off the fingers of a Barbourville police officer who had arrested him for public drunkenness.

Chief Smith is survived by his wife and two children.


  • Age 43
  • Tour 15 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Shotgun; 12 gauge
  • Offender Sentenced to 21 years

Most Recent Reflection

View all 4 Reflections

I remember his loss as an eleven year old. Nancy was in my brothers class in school. This was my first experience with an unexpected death of someone i knew the family. I still feel the loss i saw Nancy deal with. He would be proud of how sweet and kind Nancy was to everyone around her. He and his family were loved by those who knew them.

Tom Smith

November 20, 2014

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