Officer William Lee Bowlin

Officer William Lee Bowlin

Metro Nashville Police Department, Tennessee

End of Watch Wednesday, August 4, 1982

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William Lee Bowlin

Officer Bowlin was shot and killed when he was ambushed at the scene of a domestic dispute call at 1213 Litton Avenue. He and two other officers had responded to the call after reports of shots fired and attempted to make contact with the residents of the home.

The domestic argument stemmed from a court judgement earlier in the day when the suspect was ordered to give his ex-girlfriend and former lawn care business partner, two lawnmowers and a car. The suspect fled the house with a high-powered weapon and stood at one corner of the building as the officers approached.

After not receiving a response at the door the other two officers walked around back and Officer Bowling began to return to his cruiser. As he walked towards the car he was shot in the head by a suspect who was hiding in nearby bushes.

Officer Bowlin had been with the agency for just under five years. He was survived by his wife, mother, and father, who was head of the Metro Intelligence Division. Bowlin was killed on his 2-month wedding anniversary.


  • Age 27
  • Tour 5 years
  • Badge 1073

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Convicted and sentenced

ambush, domestic

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Badge 1073

You chose to follow the path
Of the man you wanted to be;
You trained for months,
And took the oath,
And assigned Badge 1073

You protected and served daily,
Your beloved Nashville Community,
You fought the fight,
Upheld the law,
You were Badge 1073

You never met a stranger;
You inspired, & influenced, you see…
Your Christian ways,
Your gentle soul,
You’re more than Badge 1073

We got the call that night
It’s not true, NO it can’t be
Devastated & heartbroken
Officer Bill Bowlin
Beloved Badge 1073

You’re gone but not forgotten,
Your legacy will always be,
In the hearts and souls
Of lives you touched
In Honor of Badge 1073

Written by Sissy Copelin Bentley

Sissy Copelin Bentley

May 23, 2018

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