Deputy Sheriff Henry L. Harper

Deputy Sheriff Henry L. Harper

Harmon County Sheriff's Office, Oklahoma

End of Watch Sunday, September 14, 1919

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Henry L. Harper

Deputy Henry Harper was shot and killed as he and a justice of the peace escorted two prisoners to jail. Both were found asleep in a local school. The car they were driving was stolen. One of the men asked to retrieve his coat and was given permission to do so.

When he grabbed his coat he pulled a revolver from it and shot Deputy Harper twice. The justice of the peace, shot and wounded, was able to return fire. Both suspects were apprehended. One had recently escaped from the Wyoming Penitentiary where he was serving a 10 year sentence. On January 22, 1920, one suspect was convicted of murder and sentenced to life. Three days later, the Wyoming fugitive, Deputy Harper's killer, escaped from the Jackson County Jail in Altus along with the brother of the one just convicted. On June 10, 1920, both were surrounded by a posse at a home on Commerce Street in Altus. As they made a break for freedom both were shot and seriously wounded. The gunman was later convicted of Deputy Harper's murder and sentenced to life.

Deputy Harper was survived by his wife and three children.


  • Age 33
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Sentenced to life

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Rest in peace always and know that no passage of time will ever erase your service and sacrifice.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

September 14, 2020

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