Deputy Sheriff William Lonnie Wadford, Jr.

Deputy Sheriff William Lonnie Wadford, Jr.

Madison County Sheriff's Office, Mississippi

End of Watch Thursday, March 8, 1979

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William Lonnie Wadford, Jr.

Deputy Sheriff Wadford was shot and killed by a suspect that had stolen a gun from the Deputy's patrol car earlier that same night. Deputy Wadford had parked his patrol car in front of a club. He entered the club to make sure they were observing the closing hour law. While inside the club a male broke into Deputy Wadford's car and stole a .357 revolver.

Deputy Wadford and the club owner left the club to look for the suspect. Later in the night they found him, and stopped his vehicle. As Deputy Wadford approached the suspect’s vehicle he was shot and killed with the stolen gun. The club owner returned fire, but the suspect escaped.

Hearing of the shooting a state trooper set up a roadblock, but was shot and critically wounded when the suspect approached. The suspect was apprehended later in the night.

On June 18, 1980, the suspect, 34, was acquitted of Deputy Wadford's murder. He was convicted of aggravated assault for shooting the trooper and sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Deputy Wadford had served with the agency for 20 years. He was survived by his wife and son.


  • Age 40
  • Tour 20 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .357 caliber
  • Offender Sentenced to 30 years

Most Recent Reflection

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Deputy Sheriff Wadford,
On today, the 40th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Madison County. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

BPA Mike Casey
United States Border Patrol
El Paso Station

March 8, 2019

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