Patrolman Damon Franklin Smith

Patrolman Damon Franklin Smith

Oakboro Police Department, North Carolina

End of Watch Monday, April 15, 1996

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Damon Franklin Smith

Officer Damon Smith was shot and killed after responding to a domestic disturbance call with the department's chief.

A nine-year-old girl had reported that her father was threatening her mother with a knife. When the two officers arrived they were ambushed from the front window by the front door. Officer Smith was shot once in the chest with a .30-.30 rifle, with the bullet penetrating his vest. The chief was also shot by the suspect but was able to return fire and wounded the man.

In October 2004 the suspect lost his last bid to remain in a state mental hospital. As a result, he pled guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. He was sentenced to additional time for the wounding of the police chief in the same incident.

Officer Smith was a U.S. Army veteran and had served with the Oakboro Police Department for 1 year. He was survived by his wife, 3-year-old son, parents and sister.

Officer Smith's badge number was retired from service at the end of his funeral service.


  • Age 29
  • Tour 3 years
  • Badge 403
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle; .30-.30
  • Offender Sentenced to life

ambush, domestic

Most Recent Reflection

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In April of 1996, I was a very excited, young man with dreams of being in law enforcement. I was scheduled to start Basic Law Enforcement Training at Stanly Community College that August. On that day, April 15, 1996, I was riding with Sgt. Greg Carpenter with the Union County Sheriff’s Office. I was getting in every possible hour of ride time as a civilian before rookie school. After riding for several hours that day, Sgt. Carpenter dropped me off and I went home to get a few things done. I walked in my house, turned on my scanner and within a few minutes of being home I heard the cry for help go over the scanner. Chief Boger had a distressed voice as he said “shots fired, officer down, shots fired, officer down!" The feelings and emotions that flooded my mind when I heard that is simply indescribable. I didn’t know Chief Boger or Damon Smith at that time. Several months later during my rookie school I got to meet Chief Boger, as he was my firearms instructor, with a bandaged shoulder from the gunshot wound. I also had the honor to meet Damon Smith’s wife and child when they came to our BLET graduation to present the first ever Damon Smith Award which was awarded to the most exemplary student, now retired Capt. Brian Helms.

It is now September 1, 2023 and I am three months from retirement. I have had a whole career since this incident and the call for help that I heard that day has been something that I have thought about many times throughout my career, especially when approaching a house during a domestic.

Rest easy, Officer Damon Smith. You have helped many of us remain vigilant through the years and you will never been forgotten.

Sgt. Jeff Furr
Monroe Police Department

September 1, 2023

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