Sheriff John W. Sparks

Sheriff John W. Sparks

Cullman County Sheriff's Office, Alabama

End of Watch Sunday, July 20, 1919

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John W. Sparks

Sheriff John Sparks was shot and killed while attempting to make an arrest at a downtown Cullman apartment at the corner of East 1st Avenue and 3rd Street.

He and the Cullman police chief had gone to the apartment in search of a suspect. When they arrived at the location, a female refused to let them. Sheriff Sparks cut his way through a screen door and was confronted by the suspect when he entered the apartment.

Sheriff Sparks and the suspect both told each other to drop their weapons, and then immediately fired at each other. The suspect was killed instantly and Sheriff Sparks was mortally wounded. He was able to walk to a local drug store where he died approximately one hour later.

Sheriff Sparks had been sworn in as sheriff only six months earlier and had served in law enforcement for over five years. He was survived by his wife and two daughters.


  • Age 49
  • Tour 5 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Shot and killed

warrant service

Most Recent Reflection

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Thank you for your service and please know that no passage of time will ever erase your sacrifice and heroism. Rest in peace always.

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

July 20, 2020

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