Deputy Sheriff Harley Beecher Nelson

Deputy Sheriff Harley Beecher Nelson

Knox County Sheriff's Office, Tennessee

End of Watch Sunday, July 6, 1947

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Harley Beecher Nelson

Deputy Sheriff Harley Nelson was shot and killed after he and another deputy responded to a shooting call.

A livestock dealer had called authorities after he caught a man tearing down a fence on his property. The subject shot at the dealer when he confronted him. When the deputies arrived the dealer accompanied them to a nearby shack where the subject lived. Deputy Nelson went to the front door as the other deputy went around back.

Several moments later the subject shot Deputy Nelson in the chest, killing him. The other deputy ran around to the front and tried to pull Deputy Nelson's body to their patrol car but was fired at by the subject. The deputy retreated to safety and called for backup. Responding county, city, and state units arrived and were involved in a prolonged shootout with the subject, who was eventually shot and killed inside of the shack.

Deputy Nelson was a U.S. Navy veteran of WWII. He was survived by his wife, four daughters, parents, two brothers, and three sisters.


  • Age 31
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .32 caliber
  • Offender Shot and killed

Most Recent Reflection

View all 5 Reflections

Deputy Sheriff Nelson,
Sir, I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice-not just for your Community but for our Country as well when you served in the USN during WW II. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

Fair Winds And Following Seas

United States Border Patrol

July 6, 2016

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