Patrolman Dennis Franklin Spinnett

Patrolman Dennis Franklin Spinnett

Thomasville Police Department, North Carolina

End of Watch Saturday, January 8, 1977

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Dennis Franklin Spinnett

Patrolman Spinnett and Patrolman Robert Crawford were shot and killed after responding to a disturbance call on Douglas Drive at 2250 hours. When the officers arrived they encountered two men in the front lawn. When they followed the men inside a struggle ensued and one of the suspects gained control of Patrolman Crawford's service weapon. The suspect shot Patrolman Crawford in the throat. Patrolman Spinnett was able to return fire but was struck in the head. Both suspects were apprehended the same day.

The suspect who shot the two officers was convicted of two counts of first degree murder and sentenced to two consecutive life terms on May 11, 1977. He died in prison on March 14, 1995.

The other suspect was convicted of being an accessory after the fact of murder and sentenced to 10 years in prison on May 12, 1977. He was parolled on January 21, 1981. A few months later he was killed in Stanly County during an altercation over a poker game.

Patrolman Spinnett had been with the agency for three years and was survived by his parents, brother, and two sisters.


  • Age 28
  • Tour 3 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender died in prison

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This is chilling in more ways than one. Not only was Dennis a relative of mine, My dad was an MP at the end of WWII and my best friend's name is the same as his partners.


April 15, 2024

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