Deputy Sheriff Walter W. Willis

Deputy Sheriff Walter W. Willis

Patrick County Sheriff's Office, Virginia

End of Watch Saturday, December 2, 1939

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Walter W. Willis

Deputy Walter Willis was shot and killed while raiding a still near Willis Gap. He was approaching the still when he was shot in the back by a suspect armed with a .22 caliber rifle.

Deputy Willis crawled one-half mile to a nearby house, where he died a short time later. Before passing away he was able to identify the suspect. The man, 22, was arrested a short time later. In one of the quickest trials in Virginia's history he was convicted six days later of murder and sentenced to life.

Deputy Willis was survived by his wife, four sons, two daughters, father, and brother.


  • Age 64
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle; .22 caliber
  • Offender Sentenced to life

Most Recent Reflection

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Deputy Sheriff Willis,
On today, the 80th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Patrick County. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

December 2, 2019

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