Deputy Sheriff James Oren Freeman

Deputy Sheriff James Oren Freeman

Saline County Sheriff's Department, Missouri

End of Watch Sunday, May 23, 1948

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James Oren Freeman

Deputy Freeman was shot and killed by a youth, 18, who was trying to break his girlfriend out of the state school for the feeble-minded in Marshall, Missouri. The youth, a former inmate at the school, had been on a robbery spree over the previous week, having robbed businesses in Kansas City, St. Louis, and Chicago.

Following the robberies in St. Louis, the suspect boarded a bus to Marshall where he intended to carry out his plan regarding his 18-year-old girlfriend. The suspect was recognized as a former patient and the staff noticed that he had a revolver in his waist band. The staff called the sheriff's department and Deputy Freeman responded to the scene. When he arrived at the scene, a struggle ensued over control of the suspect's gun. Deputy Freeman was shot twice and a dentist at the school was shot once. Despite being mortally wounded, Deputy Freeman was able to return fire and wounded the suspect. The suspect fled to Kansas City where he was arrested.

On November 8, 1948, the suspect was convicted of murder and sentenced to life. On September 22 and 23, 1954, he was one of six inmates who set fires that did millions of dollars in damage at the Missouri State Penitentiary during a prison riot. On February 24, 1955, he was convicted of arson and got 15 years added to his life sentence.


  • Age 47
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .38 caliber
  • Offender Sentenced to life

Most Recent Reflection

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Time may have passed but you are not forgotten. I believe as long as someone remembers you or speaks your name, you are still with us.
Thank you for your heroism.
God Bless

Detention Officer A.Zambito

May 23, 2015

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