Patrolman James Thomas

Patrolman James Thomas

Pilot Mountain Police Department, North Carolina

End of Watch Thursday, June 2, 1966

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James Thomas

Patrolman James Thomas was shot and killed with his own service weapon while attempting to place two brothers in holding cells at the Pilot Mountain Police Department.

After placing the second brother in a holding cell, he reopened the door to the other holding cell, at which point the subject inside attacked him.

Both brothers were charged with murder and released after posting bail.

The two were awaiting trial when on Saturday night, July 30th, 1966, one of the subjects shot and killed a man at a bar and grill ten miles east of Mount Airy. The next day, the subject was spotted in his vehicle by a Patrick County, Virginia, sheriff's deputy near Stuart, Virginia. When he stopped the car, the man jumped out and ran. When the deputy and several other officers cornered him, he committed suicide.

Patrolman Thomas had served with the Pilot Mountain Police Department for four years. He was survived by his wife and four children.


  • Age 32
  • Tour 4 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Committed suicide

arrest, police facility

Most Recent Reflection

View all 9 Reflections

James Thomas worked with my dad, Wills Junior Fulton, at the Pilot Mountain police department. I’ve heard my dad tell the story many times about what happened. I would like the family to know you’re in my prayers. Rest in peace James

Kimberly Reavis
Friend of family

February 7, 2024

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