Deputy Sheriff J. Floyd Winningham

Deputy Sheriff J. Floyd Winningham

Pickett County Sheriff's Department, Tennessee

End of Watch Saturday, April 22, 1933

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J. Floyd Winningham

Deputy Winningham and his father, Sheriff George 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 was located in a railroad boxcar. When the officers reached the boxcar, they told the male 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.

Deputy Winningham was a WWI veteran and was survived by his wife, son, daughter, mother, and brother, Sheriff Willie Winningham of Clinton County, Kentucky.

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


  • Age 39
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .45 caliber
  • Offender Shot and killed

arrest attempt, disturbance, investigation

Most Recent Reflection

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Deputy Sheriff Winningham,
On today, the 90th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice-not just as a Law Enforcement Officer but for our Country as well when you served with the U.S. Army during World War I.


United States Border Patrol

April 22, 2023

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