Sheriff George Winningham

Sheriff George Winningham

Pickett County Sheriff's Department, Tennessee

End of Watch Sunday, April 23, 1933

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George Winningham

Sheriff George Winningham and his son, Deputy Floyd Winningham, were shot and killed after responding to a lumber camp to investigate reports of a murder.

When the two, along with a third deputy, arrived at the camp, they were informed that a murder had not taken place but that there was a drunk male who was causing a disturbance and he was located in a railroad boxcar. When the officers reached the boxcar, they told the man to come out, but he opened fire with a .45 caliber handgun, striking Deputy Floyd Winningham in the head twice, killing him.

In the ensuing exchange of gunfire, Sheriff George Winningham was shot in the abdomen. He succumbed to his wounds the following day while being transported to a Nashville Hospital.

After shooting the two officers, the suspect fled into the woods, where he remained for several weeks. The suspect eventually turned himself into a Scott County deputy for fear that he would be killed if he were caught by posse members. Several days after being arrested, a mob of citizens and lawmen broke into the jail, took the suspect and another prisoner, and murdered them in Scott County.

Sheriff Winningham was serving his fifth term as Sheriff when he was murdered. He was survived by his wife, who was appointed Sheriff after his death, and son, Sheriff Willie Winningham of Clinton County, Kentucky.

Sheriff Willie Winningham was also shot and killed on July 29, 1933, while attempting to serve a warrant on a drunk male in Clinton County.


  • Age 61
  • Tour 20 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Saturday, April 22, 1933
  • Weapon Handgun; .45 caliber
  • Offender Shot and killed

arrest attempt, disturbance, investigation

Most Recent Reflection

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This was my great grandfather, who I never had the pleasure of meeting, I truly appreciate the ki d words written here. Thank you

Sue Syvertsen

July 13, 2024

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