Chief Deputy James Louis Wright

Chief Deputy James Louis Wright

Polk County Sheriff's Office, 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 the Turtletown Grill on State Highway 68.

Two hidden gunmen 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 the murders were the result of years of feuding between county politicians and there was a question as to whether there were 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 Office 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

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Bigdaddy I've been thinking about you, Bigmama & mother a lot lately & wishing I could have known you. I know you're proud of me & my children, even though we didn't meet. My mother raised me right & the way our family is now is not what she wanted at all, but working on fixing that. She made Keith into a reputable man though after she passed he went astray from that. I wish someone would investigate & find yours & Mr. Roger's assailants but the TBI failed both of you miserably. I love you. Take care of Bigmama & mother.
Your granddaughter,
Michele Gregory (JoAnn's daughter)

Michele Gregory

June 17, 2022

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