Deputy Sheriff John Cowlett

Deputy Sheriff John Cowlett

Sumter County Sheriff's Office, Alabama

End of Watch Monday, February 26, 1894

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John Cowlett

Deputy Sheriff John Cowlett was shot and killed by a 14 year-old boy when he went to the boy's home to levy on a mortgaged cow belonging to the boy's mother.

His mother refused to let the cow go and told her son to shoot the officer if he attempted to take it. As Deputy Cowlett placed a rope around the animal's neck the youth shot him dead. The shooting brought to the scene an angry crowd of citizens which hanged the boy and then riddled his body with bullets.


  • Age Not available
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; Revolver
  • Offender Lynched

Most Recent Reflection

View all 7 Reflections

RIP Deputy John Cowlett.
How a 14 year old got the better of you, no one will never know. Maybe you knew the family and didn't think the kid would do this and let your guard down. Far to often in Law Enforcement, we see how hard times can make people do things that they would not normally do. I feel that the mother should have been charged, and the kid should have served some type of time or have been dealt with in a different way. I think hanging a 14 year old boy was a little to much, then to only insult the boys corps by it being shot by an angry mob. To your family, if you have any, I am sorry for your loss. Why did it take so long for this Deputy to be recognized and suddenly honored. This was far to long in my opinion, but now he is recognized.

City of Millville Police Department

February 11, 2015

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