Deputy Sheriff J. Holland Thomas, Sr.

Deputy Sheriff J. Holland Thomas, Sr.

Pittsylvania County Sheriff's Office, Virginia

End of Watch Saturday, March 31, 1956

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J. Holland Thomas, Sr.

Deputy Thomas succumbed to a shotgun blast sustained three and a half years earlier while attempting to arrest a man wanted for killing his employer who supposedly owed him $18. Deputy Thomas was shot in the chest and abdomen area. He was taken to Memorial Hospital where he underwent several surgeries to have the pellets removed. Doctors were able to remove most of the pellets, but were unable to remove some from his abdomen. He was released from the hospital two weeks later and returned home.

The suspect, 53, was convicted of murdering his employer on September 30, 1953, and sentenced to life.

Deputy Thomas never fully recovered and was forced to retire from the sheriff's office. In March 1956, one of the pellets caused an infection and internal bleeding that led to his death.

Deputy Thomas had been in law enforcement for 33 years and is survived by his wife, two sons, two daughters, seven grandchildren, and three sisters.


  • Age 59
  • Tour 33 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Wednesday, October 8, 1952
  • Weapon Shotgun; 12 gauge
  • Offender Not available

Most Recent Reflection

View all 6 Reflections

Your heroism and service is honored today, the 56th anniversary of your death. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service. My cherished son Larry Lasater was a fellow police officer who was murdered in the the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

Time never diminishes respect. Your memory will always be honored and revered.

Rest In Peace.

Phyllis Loya
Mom of fallen California Officer Larry Lasater, Pittsburg PD, eow 4/24/05

April 1, 2012

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