Deputy Sheriff James A. Robertson

Deputy Sheriff James A. Robertson

Rockingham County Sheriff's Office, North Carolina

End of Watch Sunday, May 8, 1932

Add to My Heroes

James A. Robertson

Deputy James Robertson was shot and killed as he and another deputy investigated suspicious activity at the Spray Grade School at 2240 hours.

Citizens who lived nearby had called authorities to report that several lights in the school were on.

Because the school house had recently been entered by vandals, Deputy Robertson and the other deputy expected to encounter young kids at the school. As they proceeded to the school, Deputy Robertson encountered two men and approached them. As he did so, both men opened fire on him with a .32 caliber pistol and a .38 caliber pistol. Deputy Robertson was struck eight times and fatally wounded.

The two suspects, who were escapees from a federal prison in Fayetteville, were identified and a reward was offered for their arrest. One of the suspects was arrested in Englewood, Ohio, on July 13, 1932, after seriously wounding a Cincinnati detective in a shootout. The second suspect was shot and killed in a shootout with officers in Kentucky in August 1932.

The suspect arrested in Ohio was eventually extradited to North Carolina where he was convicted of murdering Deputy Robertson and a store owner, who had been murdered several days before Deputy Robertson was killed. The suspect was sentenced to death and executed in the electric chair on August 4, 1933.

Deputy Robertson served with the agency for 5 years and served as the chief deputy of the Spray. He was survived by his wife and five children.


  • Age 50
  • Tour 3 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .32 caliber
  • Offender Shot and killed

Most Recent Reflection

View all 14 Reflections

Never forgotten, Rest in Peace!

Ptl B L Waltz (Ret)
Avon Lake PD OH

June 2, 2023

Want even more control of your Reflection? Create a free ODMP account now for these benefits:

  • Quick access to your heroes
  • Reflections published quicker
  • Save a Reflection signature
  • View, edit or delete any Reflection you've left in the past

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.