Patrolman Melvin Claxton

Patrolman Melvin Claxton

Shelbyville Police Department, Tennessee

End of Watch Wednesday, February 17, 1999

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Melvin Claxton

Patrolman Claxton suffered a fatal heart attack during a foot chase of a jail escapee.

The suspect, in prison for murder, had escaped from the County jail at approximately 3:00 a.m. by climbing out of the ventilation ducts. At approximately 4:15 p.m., the suspect stole a truck and was immediately engaged in a pursuit by a nearby deputy. Patrolman Claxton joined the vehicle pursuit, which ended a few minutes later. The deputy and Patrolman Claxton then chased the 19-year-old suspect on foot until he was captured.

Patrolman Claxton then began having trouble breathing and collapsed. He was transported to Bedford County Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

Patrolman Claxton had served with the Shelbyville Police Department for 19 years. He was survived by his wife and four children.


  • Age 53
  • Tour 19 years
  • Badge 448

Incident Details

  • Cause Heart attack

convicted felon, escapee

Most Recent Reflection

View all 22 Reflections

Patrolman Claxton,
On today, the 25th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Shelbyville. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

BPA Mike Casey
United States Border Patrol(Retired)

February 17, 2024

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