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

Most Recent Reflection

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Sweet "Billy Bob" I remember this night like it was just last week. I was just six years old, but I adored you. My uncle Dukie was your partner. You would visit my nannie's house often for some beans and cornbread. My uncle brought many over throughout the years, but you were ALWAYS my favorite. Just a sweet man with the best smile. I tell your story often to many people I meet what a great young officer that was taking from the world way too soon over senseless violence!!!

Stacy Pardue Johnson
Family Friend

August 5, 2019

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