Deputy Sheriff James Conner

Deputy Sheriff James Conner

Marion County Sheriff's Office, Tennessee

End of Watch Monday, December 26, 1927

Add to My Heroes

James Conner

Deputy Sheriff James Conner, Sheriff Wash Coppinger, and Deputy Sheriff Langford Hennessey were shot and killed in a shootout with members of the South Pittsburgh Police Department who held a grudge against the sheriff.

The city's night marshal was the former sheriff and had lost his re-election bid against Sheriff Coppinger. The night marshal had appointed a man who had been arrested by Sheriff Coppinger as a deputy marshal.

During a labor strike at a local factory, the night marshal and his officers supported the non-union workers who were being harassed by striking workers because they were not participating in the strike.

A county deputy witnessed the officers holding a union member at gunpoint and approached them. The city officers then held the deputy at gunpoint before dispersing. The deputy immediately notified Sheriff Coppinger, who responded to the scene with Deputy Hennessey, Deputy Conner, and his son, who was also a deputy.

The sheriff and deputies confronted the officers on 3rd Street, near Cedar Avenue, and attempted to resolve the situation peacefully by offering to discuss it with the mayor. The sheriff then informed one of the officers he would have to be arrested for pointing the gun at the deputy.

One of the officers then opened fire with a shotgun. During the ensuing shootout, Sheriff Coppinger and Deputy Hennessey were killed, along with the city's night marshal, his deputy, and a special officer who worked at the local factory. Deputy Conner, who also served as the South Pittsburgh police chief, suffered a fatal shotgun blast and died the following day.


  • Age 44
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Sunday, December 25, 1927
  • Weapon Shotgun; 12 gauge
  • Offender Shot and killed


Most Recent Reflection

View all 6 Reflections

On this Christmas Day please know that no passage of time can ever erase your service and sacrifice. Rest in peace always.

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

December 25, 2020

Want even more control of your Reflection? Create a free ODMP account now for these benefits:

  • Quick access to your heroes
  • Reflections published quicker
  • Save a Reflection signature
  • View, edit or delete any Reflection you've left in the past

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.