Patrolman Marshall Jefferson Sowders, Jr.

Patrolman Marshall Jefferson Sowders, Jr.

Longview Police Department, Texas

End of Watch Tuesday, November 22, 1977

Marshall Jefferson Sowders, Jr.

Patrolman Marshall Sowders was shot and killed when he made a traffic stop of two robbery suspects, a man and a woman while en route to an armed robbery call. The call was the second such call in less than one hour. During his response he noticed a suspicious vehicle, turned his cruiser around, and stopped the vehicle. As Patrolman Sowders approached the vehicle the male driver suddenly exited and opened fire with a .357 caliber handgun, striking him four times. Both suspects were captured in nearby Gilmer after a shootout with police in which the woman was critically wounded. The man was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death. On April 10, 1991, his sentence was commuted to life.

Patrolman Sowders had served with the agency for three months and had previously served with another agency. He was survived by his wife.


  • Age 28
  • Tour 3 months
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .357 caliber
  • Offender Sentenced to life

Most Recent Reflection

View all 11 Reflections

Butch, I don't know if you remember me. I was in my first year of law enforcement when you were murdered and 21 yrs.old, Working for Harris Co, pct#8 we made a few arrests together. I retired from Houston P.D. in 2004 w/ 27 yrs. After all these years and many LE funerals yours sticks in my mind, It was the first On duty LE funeral I have attended, I wish I could say it was the last. Beautiful Funeral with a long line of patrol cars from every agency in the area escorting you .. You are a true hero and someone I will never forget...

Police Officer Ross McCammon
Houston Police Dept. (Ret)

April 24, 2015

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.