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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Patrolman Spiers,
On today, the 50th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice-not just for your Community but for our Country as well when you served with the USN in Vietnam. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

Fair Winds And Following Seas

United States Border Patrol

November 21, 2021

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