Patrolman Joseph Griffin Wright

Patrolman Joseph Griffin Wright

North Carolina Highway Patrol, North Carolina

End of Watch Wednesday, September 27, 1972

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Joseph Griffin Wright

Patrolman Wright was shot and killed after stopping a vehicle occupied by three men on a rural road near Helena in Person County.

As he walked from his patrol car to the vehicle, the driver shot him in the chest three times and then sped away. A nearby farmer who saw the incident called for help and helped Patrolman Wright get back to his car. He died just before help arrived.

Three days later, three Durham men were apprehended and charged with Patrolman Wright's murder. On March 13, 1973, the driver, 21, was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. As of June 15, 2023, he remains in prison.

Patrolman Wright was a U.S Army Korean War veteran and served with the North Carolina Highway Patrol for 13 years. He was survived by his wife and three children.


  • Age 41
  • Tour 13 years
  • Badge D-431
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .22 caliber
  • Offender Sentenced to life

traffic stop

Most Recent Reflection

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Patrolman Wright,
On today, the 50th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice-not just as a Law Enforcement Officer but for our Country as well when you served with the U.S. Army during the Korean War. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United State Border Patrol

September 27, 2022

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