Patrolman Joe Douglas Spiers

Patrolman Joe Douglas Spiers

Gulfport Police Department, Mississippi

End of Watch Sunday, November 21, 1971

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Joe Douglas Spiers

Patrolman Joe Spiers was shot and killed by a female prisoner he and another officer were transporting to jail.

The prisoner had been arrested by the other officer that morning for drunk driving. Officer Spiers had responded to the scene to drive to the subject's car to the police station. After administering field sobriety tests at the station they began to transport the woman to jail.

Approximately one block from the station the officer driving the car looked back and observed the woman holding a pistol. The woman had been handcuffed in the front because of her large size and was able to conceal the weapon on her person while being arrested. She shot Patrolman Spiers, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, in the head.

After a brief struggle the woman was subdued. Patrolman Spiers was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his wounds during surgery later that evening.

The subject plead guilty to murder and was sentenced to life in prison.

Patrolman Spiers was a U.S. Navy veteran and had been awarded two Purple Heart medals during a tour in Vietnam. He was survived by his expectant wife, mother, two sisters, and four brothers.


  • Age 23
  • Tour 1 year, 5 months
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Sentenced to life


Most Recent Reflection

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Officer Spiers your sacrifice will never be forgotten! Thank you for your dedicated service to the Citizens of and City of Gulfport! Continue to Rest in Peace.
Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. John 15:13

"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of GOD." Matthew 5:9

Corporal Tony Dunn
Mississippi Highway Patrol, Troop D

November 21, 2015

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