Deputy Sheriff William Wright

Deputy Sheriff William Wright

Letcher County Sheriff's Office, Kentucky

End of Watch Thursday, April 11, 1901

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William Wright

Deputy William Wright was shot and killed when he and his partner were ambushed. The two deputies were en route to serve murder warrants on two suspects when the suspects ambushed them. Deputy Wright was mortally wounded and died the next day. Both suspects were eventually apprehended and charged with Deputy Wright's murder.

One of the suspects had shot and killed Deputy Wright's father, Deputy William Wright with the Letcher County Sheriff's Office on January 30, 1900. He was out of jail after posting bond. In 1902 he was convicted of both murders and sentenced to 15 years for the Deputy Wright's murder and life for his father's murder. Governor Beckham pardoned him for both murders in 1905. The other suspect, also sentenced to 15 years, escaped from prison and was never captured.

Two of Deputy Wright's second cousins were shot and killed in the line of duty while serving as law enforcement officers in Letcher County. Deputy Joel Wright was shot and killed on August 24, 1916, while serving the Letcher County Sheriff's Department, and Deputy Constable Booker Wright was shot and killed on November 7, 1932, while serving with the Letcher County Constable's Office.

Deputy Wright had been with the agency for four months and was only 18-years-old.

It is important to note there were many feuds in Kentucky, and often the information about the officers who lost their life as a result of them were confusing, contradictory, and refuted by others.


  • Age 18
  • Tour 4 months
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Wednesday, April 10, 1901
  • Weapon Rifle
  • Offender Pardoned in 1905

Most Recent Reflection

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Deputy Sheriff Wright,
On today, the 120th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Letcher County. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

April 11, 2021

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