Patrolman William Larry Whitwell

Patrolman William Larry Whitwell

Columbia Police Department, Tennessee

End of Watch Sunday, April 5, 1981

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William Larry Whitwell

Patrolman Larry Whitwell was shot and killed with his own weapon after stopping a vehicle for speeding through Woodland Park at 11:16 pm.

Unbeknownst to Patrolman Whitwell, the two occupants had just robbed a local fast-food restaurant. As he was talking with the men, the robbery call was broadcast over the radio, and Patrolman Whitwell observed a money bag in the vehicle. A struggle ensued, and Patrolman Whitwell was shot with his own weapon four times.

Patrolman Whitwell was transported to Maury County Hospital where he died during surgery.

Both subjects, one of whom was a juvenile, fled but were later apprehended. The juvenile was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 50 years in prison. He was denied parole in October 2012 but was paroled months later. The adult was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life. He was denied parole in October 2020 but has another parole hearing in September 2023.

Patrolman Whitwell had served with the Columbia Police Department for three years and previously served with the Belle Meade Police Department for nine years. He was survived by his wife, son, mother, and two brothers.


  • Age 34
  • Tour 12 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Saturday, April 4, 1981
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Sentenced to life

juvenile offender, robbery, traffic stop

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