Deputy Sergeant William A. Cook

Deputy Sergeant William A. Cook

Danville Sheriff's Office, Virginia

End of Watch Saturday, March 7, 1896

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William A. Cook

Deputy Sergeant William Cook was shot and killed by a prisoner who was attempting to escape from the city jail at the intersection of Court Street and Patton Street, where the Municipal Building currently stands.

The prisoner, who had just been sentenced to the penitentiary for burglary, had obtained a pistol that had been smuggled into the jail by a female acquaintance. He shot Deputy Sergeant Cook three times and then fled from the jail.

The man committed suicide the following day after being surrounded by a posse inside a home on Washington Street. The woman who smuggled the gun to the prisoner was convicted of being an accessory before the fact and sentenced to 18 years in prison.

Deputy Sergeant Cook was murdered four days before his 55th birthday. He was survived by his wife and daughter.


  • Age 54
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Committed suicide

escape attempt

Most Recent Reflection

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Deputy Sgt. Cook,
On today, the 125th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Danville.


United States Border Patrol

March 7, 2021

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