Sheriff William P. Harris

Sheriff William P. Harris

DeSoto County Sheriff's Office, Mississippi

End of Watch Monday, November 25, 1912

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William P. Harris

Sheriff William Harris was shot and killed while attempting to seize cotton from a man who had an outstanding legal debt of $400.

The sheriff had gone to the man's home to seize the cotton several days earlier but was confronted by the man and his two sons.

The sheriff returned the following Monday with five deputies to seize the cotton and arrest the man and his sons for resisting the seizure the previous week. When they arrived at the man's farm, they found that the cotton had been put behind a locked gate. When the father invited Sheriff Harris into his home, he opened fire with a shotgun, striking Sheriff Harris in the face, and killing him.

A deputy shot and killed his sheriff's killer. His sons ran from the home but were apprehended and charged with murder. One was tried and acquitted. It is unknown what happened to the other.

Sheriff Harris was survived by his wife and several children and is buried in Blocker Cemetery, Olive Branch, Desoto County, Mississippi.


  • Age 47
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Shotgun
  • Offender Shot and killed

arrest attempt

Most Recent Reflection

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Sheriff Harris,
On today, the 110th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of DeSoto County. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

November 25, 2022

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