Deputy Sheriff Mayner Cleve Lambert

Deputy Sheriff Mayner Cleve Lambert

Dickenson County Sheriff's Office, Virginia

End of Watch Saturday, May 8, 1948

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Mayner Cleve Lambert

Deputy Mayner Lambert was shot and killed from ambush by a suspect who held a grudge against Deputy Lambert for previous encounters.

The suspect had been arrested by Deputy Lambert after deserting from the US Army during WWII. Deputy Lambert had also been involved in an incident in which a citizen shot and killed the suspect's brother-in-law after accusing the man of stealing whiskey from his home. Deputy Lambert had accompanied the citizen to arrest the man, but when they located the man, the citizen immediately opened fire and killed him.

When Deputy Lambert was shot, he had just returned home with his wife and was standing on his front porch speaking to a neighbor girl and another deputy. The suspect shot him in the back with a .30-.30 rifle from a clump of bushes 100 feet away.

The suspect, 25, turned himself in several days later and confessed to the murder. He was convicted of murder and sentenced to life. Several other men were arrested and held as accessories to murder.

Deputy Lambert had served with the Dickenson County Sheriff's Office for just over 4 years. He was survived by his wife, son, daughter, and 15 siblings.


  • Age 45
  • Tour 4 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle
  • Offender Sentenced to life

ambush, retaliation

Most Recent Reflection

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Deputy Sheriff Lambert,
On today, the 75th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Dickenson County. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

May 8, 2023

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