Deputy Sheriff William Thomas "Tom" Pendergrass

Deputy Sheriff William Thomas "Tom" Pendergrass

Owsley County Sheriff's Office, Kentucky

End of Watch Wednesday, July 10, 1940

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William Thomas "Tom" Pendergrass

Deputy Sheriff Tom Pendergrass was shot and killed while attempting to arrest a man for causing a disturbance near New Hope.

The suspect immediately opened fire on Deputy Pendergrass as he stepped from his car, striking him in the chest with a shot from a .22 caliber. Despite being mortally wounded, Deputy Pendergrass returned fire, fatally striking the suspect.

Deputy Pendergrass attempted to drive himself to seek help but succumbed to the wound approximately two miles away.

Deputy Pendergrass was survived by his wife, four sons, four daughters, and two brothers. One of his brothers served as a detective with the Detroit, Michigan, Police Department.


  • Age 57
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle; .22 caliber
  • Offender Shot and killed

arrest attempt

Most Recent Reflection

View all 13 Reflections

R.I.P. great uncle Tom. You still live in our hearts, including my children . This article told me things about your death that I did not know until now. I am very happy to know the rest of the story.

Michael Whitaker
Oldest grandson of Tom’s brother, Brown.

March 1, 2022

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