Rural Police Officer Sampson E. Cole

Rural Police Officer Sampson E. Cole

Mecklenburg County Police Department, North Carolina

End of Watch Sunday, January 1, 1905

Sampson E. Cole

Officer Cole was shot and killed while responding to a disturbance in which a man had threatened another man with a handgun. The victim left the scene in search of a police officer and located Officer Cole.

Officer Cole and his son-in-law followed the man back to the location, near present day East Sugar Creek Road, where they confronted the suspect on a set of railroad tracks. Officer Cole drew his service revolver and ordered the man to raise his hands. The suspect raised his left hand and then reached into his right pocket and produced a revolver. He immediately opened fire, wounding Officer Cole's son-in-law in the chest and striking Officer Cole in the abdomen and neck, mortally wounding him.

The suspect fled the scene but was arrested several days later in Fort Mill, South Carolina. He was returned to Charlotte where he was charged with murder. The jury found him guilty of the less serious charge of manslaughter and sentenced him to 2 years on the county chain gang.

Officer Cole had served with the Mecklenburg County Police Department for 4 years. He was survived by his wife. He was buried in Elmwood Cemetery in Charlotte, North Carolina.


  • Age 57
  • Tour 4 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; Revolver
  • Offender Not available

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