Sergeant William Dean Arledge

Sergeant William Dean Arledge

North Carolina Highway Patrol, North Carolina

End of Watch Saturday, October 5, 1974

Add to My Heroes

William Dean Arledge

Sergeant William Arledge and Patrolman Lawrence Canipe were shot and killed in the basement of the Buncombe County Courthouse.

Sergeant Arledge was assisting Patrolman Canipe to administer a breathalyzer test when the suspect was able to gain control of one of the officers' handguns and shot them both. The suspect was apprehended the next day by a deputy sheriff in Asheville.

The suspect was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder on March 28th, 1975, and sentenced to two life terms. He died in prison on September 5th, 1995.

Sergeant Arledge was a U.S Navy veteran of WWII and had served with the North Carolina Highway Patrol for 23 years. He was survived by his wife and two daughters.

In August 2000 a six-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 74 in Polk County was renamed Sgt. W. Dean Arledge Memorial Highway in honor of Sergeant Arledge.


  • Age 54
  • Tour 23 years
  • Badge G-422
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Sentenced to life

drunk driver

Most Recent Reflection

View all 26 Reflections

October 5th is a particularly dark day for North Carolina law enforcement. ODMP cites seven who gave their all for the Tarheel state on this day of the year. We lost Trooper Canipe with you that horrible evening, further compounding our grief. Nineteen years later, we would lose two more out of the same incident on another violent and tragic October 5th. All seven of you share not just an end of watch date, but a fidelity to service. The fabric of our profession was strengthened by the contributions you made, and weakened by your loss.

NC Officer

October 5, 2022

Want even more control of your Reflection? Create a free ODMP account now for these benefits:

  • Quick access to your heroes
  • Reflections published quicker
  • Save a Reflection signature
  • View, edit or delete any Reflection you've left in the past

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