Sergeant William Dean Arledge

Sergeant William Dean Arledge

North Carolina Highway Patrol, North Carolina

End of Watch Saturday, October 5, 1974

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 administer a breathalyzer test when the suspect was able to gain control of one of the officers' handguns and shoot them both. The suspect was arrested the next day by a deputy sheriff in Asheville.

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

Sergeant Arledge had been with the agency for 23 years and 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

Incident Details

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

Most Recent Reflection

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On October 5, 2012 @ 1730 hours the Buncombe County Sheriff's Office will be recognizing and honoring both Lawrence Canipe, Jr. and Sergeant W. Dean Arledge. The very room this tragedy struck 38 years ago on October 5, 1974 is currently the Sergeants office for Court Security. These brave men both gave the ultimate sacrifice serving this great state as well as the citizens of Buncombe County. We in Court Security would like to dedicate our office space and place a memorial in the office to protect and preserve their memory. We want the family to know that the memory of these wonderful men will not be forgotten and with this dedication cannot be forgotten.

Sergeant Jeffrey Littrell
Buncombe County Sheriff's Office

September 13, 2012

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