Chief of Police William Howard Wilson

Chief of Police William Howard Wilson

Cedar Bluff Police Department, Alabama

End of Watch Sunday, July 29, 1973

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William Howard Wilson

Chief of Police William Wilson was shot and killed while attempting to serve a warrant on a man for assaulting two officers earlier in the week.

The man was a local tow truck operator and assaulted the two officers when they attempted to serve another warrant for refusing to present his driver's license during a traffic stop. Chief Wilson had gone to the man's home at 3550 Old Highway 9 and attempted to arrest him. Shots were exchanged between the two and Chief Wilson was struck in the head by a round fired with a 7mm hunting rifle.

The man was arrested and charged with first-degree murder but the charges were later dismissed when a grand jury failed to return a true bill. The man was later elected to be the town's mayor in the early 1980s.

Chief Wilson was an Alabama National Guard veteran and had served as the Cedar Bluff police chief for only three weeks. He had previously served with the Piedmont Police Department and the Delaware County, Indiana, Sheriff's Office. He is survived by his wife, daughter, three sons, parents, two brothers, and five sisters.


  • Age 37
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle; 7.62 mm
  • Offender Deceased

warrant service

Most Recent Reflection

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Chief Wilson,
On today, the 50th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice-not just for your Community but for our Country as well when you served with the Alabama National Guard. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

July 29, 2023

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