Deputy Sheriff Ralph W. King

Deputy Sheriff Ralph W. King

Knox County Sheriff's Office, Tennessee

End of Watch Tuesday, September 12, 1933

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Ralph W. King

Deputy Sheriff Ralph King succumbed to a gunshot wound sustained two days earlier when he and two other deputies were ambushed while searching for a still.

Several moonshiners opened fire on the deputies as they approached the still, striking Deputy King and another deputy with a shotgun blast. Both were transported to a Knoxville hospital in critical condition. Deputy King succumbed to his wounds.

Seven subjects were arrested in connection with the shooting. Two of the men were charged with murder while the others had there charges dropped. The other two, brothers, 21 and 23, were convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to 21 years each. On January 15, 1939, Governor Gordan Browning commuted their convictions and sentences to 3 to 10 years for voluntary manslaughter.

Deputy King was survived by his wife, three sons, four daughter, brother, and two sisters.


  • Age 46
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Sunday, September 10, 1933
  • Weapon Shotgun
  • Offender Sentenced commuted to 10 years

alcohol violation, ambush

Most Recent Reflection

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Deputy Sheriff King,
On today, the 90th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Knox County.


United States Border Patrol

September 12, 2023

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