Sheriff Robert J. Smith

Sheriff Robert J. Smith

Fisher County Sheriff's Department, Texas

End of Watch Saturday, August 27, 1927

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Robert J. Smith

Sheriff Robert Smith and Deputy Jake Owen were shot and killed after arresting two men for stealing seed cotton.

The officers allowed the men to go home and change before transporting them to jail. When the suspects exited their home they began shooting at the officers. Sheriff Smith was shot while still in his vehicle, the bullet striking in the back and going through his heart. Deputy Owen jumped from the vehicle but was gunned down by the suspects.

The shooting suspect in the killing of Sheriff Smith and Deputy Owen was sentenced to death, but was sent to a state mental hospital. He was declared sane, returned to prison and executed in the electric chair at the Texas State Prison in Huntsville in 1929. A second suspect was apprehended and sentenced to life in prison but was paroled after serving 14 years.

Sheriff Smith had served with the agency for eight months. He was survived by his wife and three children.


  • Age 30
  • Tour 8 months
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Not available

Most Recent Reflection

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Rest in peace always knowing that your service and sacrifice will never, ever be forgotten by your law enforcement brethren.

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

August 27, 2020

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