Chief of Police James W. Ethridge

Chief of Police James W. Ethridge

Branchville Police Department, South Carolina

End of Watch Saturday, June 30, 1951

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James W. Ethridge

Chief James Ethridge was shot to death as he entered a cafe near the Branchville Depot where he went to quell a disturbance.

A 22 year-old man went into a rage and opened fire with a shotgun when the cafe juke box failed to play the record he had selected. Chief Ethridge and a bystander were killed instantly. Five other persons were wounded, including a five-year-old boy. Shortly after the shooting the suspect surrendered to a state trooper.

The suspect was convicted of first degree murder and executed in the electric chair on November 16, 1951.


  • Age 39
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Shotgun
  • Offender Executed in 1951

Most Recent Reflection

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Thank you for your service and please know that your sacrifice is one that will never, ever be forgotten. Rest in peace always.

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

June 30, 2020

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