Chief Deputy James Louis Wright

Chief Deputy James Louis Wright

Polk County Sheriff's Department, Tennessee

End of Watch Saturday, March 8, 1958

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James Louis Wright

Chief Deputy James Wright and Deputy Bob Rogers were shot and killed from ambush as they conducted a routine check of a tavern on State Highway 68.

Two hidden gunman opened fire on them with shotguns as they stepped out of their patrol car. Chief Deputy Wright and Deputy Rogers were both struck by the shotgun blasts and killed. A third deputy returned fire but did not strike the suspects.

The suspects were never identified. Authorities felt their murders were the result of years of feuding between county politicians and there was a question as to wether there was one or two suspects. Exactly one year later the tavern they were checking was bombed.

Chief Deputy Wright had served with the Polk County Sheriff's Department for nine years. He was survived by his wife and two daughters.


  • Age 49
  • Tour 9 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Shotgun
  • Offender Never identified


Most Recent Reflection

View all 15 Reflections

60 YEARS today Big daddy & still I don't know who AMBUSHED you & Deputy Rogers & nobody will do what's right & tell the truth. I know Mr. Gibson's family, Mr. Newman's family & MORE know the truth, idk how they live with themselves. I'm still asking questions & I won't stop until God takes me home. Take care of Bigmama & mother. I love you all & miss you everyday!

Granddaughter Michele Ballew Gregory

March 8, 2018

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