Deputy Sheriff William Burleson

Deputy Sheriff William Burleson

Avery County Sheriff's Office, North Carolina

End of Watch Thursday, April 26, 1923

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William Burleson

Deputy Sheriff William Burleson was shot and killed while investigating a possible illegal moonshine still near the North Carolina - Tennessee border.

While attempting to locate the source of the wood smoke, Deputy Burleson was either ambushed or stumbled across the suspect(s) and was shot once in the abdomen. A guide ran for help, but due to the remote location, a rescue was delayed. Deputy Burleson was taken to his cousin's home, where he succumbed to his wound six hours later.

The suspect(s) were never identified or apprehended, and the case remains open.

Deputy Burleson had served with the Avery County Sheriff's Office for five years. He was survived by his wife and children.


  • Age 48
  • Tour 5 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; Pistol
  • Offender Never identified

alcohol violation, investigation

Most Recent Reflection

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Deputy Sheriff Burleson,
On today, the 100th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Avery County.


United States Border Patrol

April 26, 2023

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