Inspector James Sherman Mullins

Inspector James Sherman Mullins

Virginia Department of Prohibition Enforcement, Virginia

End of Watch Sunday, August 8, 1926

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James Sherman Mullins

Inspector James Mullins succumbed to gunshot wounds sustained two days earlier when he was shot by the Dickenson County sheriff on the courthouse steps in Clintwood.

The county sheriff was known to personally violate Prohibition laws and to protect other violators. Inspector Mullins had issued several warrants charging him with prohibition law violations and was instrumental in having the him removed from office.

The sheriff had received an official notice in the mail informing him of the removal. He immediately picked up his gun, left his home, and walked to the courthouse where he located Inspector Mullins speaking with a justice of the peace and the commonwealth's attorney about unrelated cases. As he approached he ordered the other men on the courthouse lawn to back away. As they did so he opened fire on Inspector Mullins, who then retreated up the courthouse steps. Inspector Mullins, who had only one hand due to a previous injury, attempted to draw his gun as the sheriff continued to fire at him. He took up a position behind a pillar and returned fire, striking the sheriff twice.

Both men were transported to the local hospital, where the sheriff died within 30 minutes. Inspector Mullins succumbed to his wounds two days later.

Inspector Mullins had served with the Virginia Department of Prohibition Enforcement for 2-1/2 years. He had previously served as a Dickenson County policeman, justice of the peace, and with the United States Marshals Service. He was survived by his wife, several children, and several grandchildren.


  • Age 59
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Friday, August 6, 1926
  • Weapon Handgun; Revolver
  • Offender Shot and killed

Most Recent Reflection

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It is truly a wonderful thing to see so many of your great grandchildren leaving you such beautiful reflections and for them to keep your memory alive. Rest in peace always knowing that no passage of time will ever erase your memory, service and sacrifice from your law enforcement brethren.

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

August 8, 2020

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