Deputy Sheriff J. W. Edwards

Deputy Sheriff J. W. Edwards

Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Office, Louisiana

End of Watch Wednesday, May 29, 1895

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J. W. Edwards

Deputies J.W. Edwards and Baxter Willis were both shot and fatally wounded when they mistook each other for a suspect they were searching for.

Both deputies, along with a railroad special agent and another deputy, were searching for a man who had fired a gun at a freight train several nights earlier. The officers had split up into two groups and searched the woods for several hours.

At around dusk the two groups encountered each other. Deputy Willis was standing on the railroad tracks when Deputy Edwards saw him, but did not recognize him. Deputy Edwards ordered him to raise his hands and then opened fire as he turned towards him.

Thinking he was being fired upon by the suspect, Deputy Willis returned the fire, striking Deputy Edwards. Deputy Edwards was killed instantly. Deputy Willis died as a result of his wounds three weeks later. He was survived by his wife and child.


  • Age Not available
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire (Inadvertent)

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No passage of time will ever erase your service and sacrifice and you will always be remembered.

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

June 20, 2020

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