Sergeant Jay Elmo "Jerry" Wignall

Sergeant Jay Elmo "Jerry" Wignall

Tucumcari Police Department, New Mexico

End of Watch Friday, November 11, 1966

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Jay Elmo "Jerry" Wignall

Sergeant Wignall succumbed to wounds received two days earlier when he was shot on a rampage after his brother was arrested the previous day. The man went to his mother-in-law's home where he murdered his sister-in-law. He then took his wife hostage and took her to the police station. Once there he let her go and took two men hostage. He forced them up the stairs where he encountered a dispatcher and Sergeant Wignall. He forced Sergeant Wignall to give him the jail key and then shot him in the back. When he opened the jail he discovered that his brother was no longer there because he had been transferred to the county jail earlier in the day.
The suspect then took the dispatcher hostage and left the jail. He took her to a nearby store where he was surrounded by officers. He eventually surrendered. He was sentenced to life in prison but committed suicide in his cell in 1980.
Sergeant Wignall was survived by his and son.


  • Age 57
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Wednesday, November 9, 1966
  • Weapon Shotgun
  • Offender Committed suicide in jail

Most Recent Reflection

View all 4 Reflections

I walk by Sergeant Wignall's picture on the wall of the Tucumcari Police Department several times a week. My wife is a police officer there and I am a State officer, I have been in the building where SGT Wignall was shot. I pray that I fulfill the legacy that SGT Wignall and all the other officers listed on this site lived for. May you rest in peace and know that your sacrifice was not in vane and you are thought about every time I walk past the picture of you and I honor you and your family.

SGT Harold Edwards
New Mexico State Police

August 7, 2016

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