Policeman Ernest Carl Armstrong

Policeman Ernest Carl Armstrong

Tullahoma Police Department, Tennessee

End of Watch Monday, December 3, 1934

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Ernest Carl Armstrong

Policeman Ernest Armstrong, Policeman Charles Holt, and Patrolman Lindsey Smith of the Tennessee Highway Patrol were shot and killed after responding to a domestic dispute.

Policeman Armstrong was the first officer to arrive at the scene and was shot by the drunk suspect. The suspect opened fire with a .45 caliber handgun, striking Policeman Armstrong's badge and a second shot striking his spinal cord. Although wounded, he was able to return fire and struck the suspect in the arm.

The suspect fled to a nearby church and hid in the crawl space beneath the building. Policeman Holt and Patrolman Smith responded to the church and located the suspect. Policeman Holt and the suspect exchanged shots, and Policeman Holt was fatally wounded. As the suspect came around the corner of the building, he shot Patrolman Smith twice, seriously wounding him. A second highway patrolman returned fire and killed the suspect.

Policeman Armstrong and Patrolman Lindsay were transported to Protestant Hospital, where they both succumbed to their wounds several days later.

Patrolman Armstrong had served with the Tullahoma Police Department for two years and was also a member of Tullahoma's semi-professional baseball team. He was survived by his wife and four brothers.


  • Age 39
  • Tour 2 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Sunday, December 2, 1934
  • Weapon Handgun; .45 caliber
  • Offender Not available


Most Recent Reflection

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Just to add some humanity to this Officer . E C Armstrong was a fairly young LEO at the time of his death, while putting himself in danger. He and His wife Effie were our Mother, Miss Velma Lou Felts’ , Aunt and Uncle. They had no children of their own and had taken in my Mom siblings when their mother had died from measles in 1931. Other siblings were spread out to other relatives when their Father/ Mack Felts was unable to care for all of them. Effie was forced to let another relative take the children she cared for because she had to earn her own support when Ernest was killed. The thoughtless death of this peace loving and caring police officer had far reaching effects. Coincidentally , his end of watch in 1934 was my birth date in 1950. RIP forever Officer Armstrong.

Cathey Kemp Karnes
Great Niece

January 2, 2023

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