Sergeant John Holcombe Woodson

Sergeant John Holcombe Woodson

Southern Railway Police Department, Railroad Police

End of Watch Monday, August 5, 1946

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John Holcombe Woodson

Sergeant Holcombe Woodson was shot and killed at Catlett, Virginia, as he and another railroad detective approached a man to question him about freight thefts. Before the detectives even spoke to the man, he produced a .22 caliber handgun and opened fire.

One of the shots struck Sergeant Woodson in the neck, mortally wounding him. He was transported to Warrenton Hospital where he succumbed to the wound.

The suspect fled but was arrested. He was subsequently convicted of murder and executed.

Sergeant Woodson had served with the Southern Railroad Police Department for 31 years. He was survived by his wife.


  • Age 63
  • Tour 31 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Location Virginia
  • Weapon Handgun; .22 caliber
  • Offender Executed


Most Recent Reflection

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Sgt. Woodson,
On today, the 75th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice as a Law Enforcement Officer. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

August 5, 2021

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