Night Watchman Joseph M. Self

Night Watchman Joseph M. Self

University of Kentucky Police Department, Kentucky

End of Watch Saturday, February 10, 1923

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Joseph M. Self

Night Watchman Joseph Self was shot and killed while confronting the occupants of a car that had pulled up in front of the University of Kentucky's Mechanical Hall (modern-day Anderson Tower) at approximately 11:00 p.m.

He had just told the occupants that he was going to take them to the police station when one of the men opened fire, striking him once.

Despite being mortally wounded, Watchman Self returned fire and wounded the suspect twice. The suspect, who was a student at the university, was taken into custody the following morning after he sought treatment for his wounds at the local hospital.

The 21-year-old suspect, who claimed Watchman Self fired first, was tried and acquitted.

Watchman Self had served with the University of Kentucky Police Department for five years. He was survived by his wife and three daughters.


  • Age 47
  • Tour 5 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .32 caliber
  • Offender Acquitted

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On today, the 100th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice as a Law Enforcement Officer.


United States Border Patrol

February 10, 2023

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