Detective William D. Woods

Detective William D. Woods

Louisville Police Department, Kentucky

End of Watch Saturday, November 25, 1933

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William D. Woods

Detective William Woods was shot and killed while on an undercover narcotics operation on 7th Street near Walnut Street (Present Day Muhammad Ali Boulevard). He and his partner were sitting in an unmarked patrol car attempting to identify and arrest drug abusers. A man who was high was looking for a dope dealer with the last name Woods. Detective Woods was pointed out to the suspect as being Woods. The man went up to the car and shot Detective Woods without warning. His partner shot and wounded the suspect.

The suspect, 28, was apprehended in Dayton, Ohio, a few days later. He pled guilty and was sentenced to life in prison. He was paroled in October of 1943.

Detective Woods was the first black police officer with his agency to be murdered in the line of duty. He had served with the Louisville Police Department for 11 years. He was survived by his wife, three sons, and a daughter.


  • Age 48
  • Tour 11 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .32 caliber
  • Offender Paroled in 1943

narcotics, undercover

Most Recent Reflection

View all 7 Reflections

That was my Great Great Grandfather and as I come back to this page I see another distant relative who was the child of my Great Great Uncle Wilbur K. Woods. I wish they would have posted their name. My Great Grandmother is Wilbur's sister Agnes Woods, William & Nora Lee's only daughter. They had 3 boys and 1 girl. My Mother was named Nora, after her Great Grandmother. Agnes died in 2003 and my Mom in 2016. May they all rest in peace.

Rashaan Cox Washington
Great Great Granddaughter

February 4, 2024

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