Captain James Somers Perry

Captain James Somers Perry

Memphis Police Department, Tennessee

End of Watch Friday, June 12, 1868

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James Somers Perry

Captain James Somers Perry was shot and wounded while investigating a burglary in progress. While eating lunch on Monroe Street near the corner of Main Street Captain Perry observed two burglars enter a wholesale grocers store through the basement door. Captain Perry ran to the store where he met a night watchman who accompanied him to the open door. The watchman remained outside while Captain Perry entered the dark basement.

When Captain Perry struck a match so he could see the suspects opened fire at him. One shot struck Captain Perry in the chest. As Captain Perry fell to the ground the suspects ran out of the building past the watchman who fired several rounds at the suspects but did not apprehend them because he remained at the scene with Captain Perry.

Captain Perry was brought to a doctor, but the doctor was unable to help him. Captain Perry died eight days later from his wound.

One of the killers was apprehended and executed on August 20, 1869.

Captain Perry, who as the commander of the Southern District, had served with the Memphis Police Department for eight years and was survived by his wife and two children. He is buried in Elmwood Cemetery.


  • Age 35
  • Tour 8 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Thursday, June 4, 1868
  • Weapon Handgun; Pistol
  • Offender Not available

burglary in progress

Most Recent Reflection

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On this 152nd "anniversary" of your true heroic sacrifice, know that time will never erase your memory and legacy and the appreciation your fellow LE brethren have for you.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo (Retired)
Delaware State Police

June 12, 2020

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