Deputy Sheriff John Wesley O'Bryen

Deputy Sheriff John Wesley O'Bryen

Etowah County Sheriff's Office, Alabama

End of Watch Sunday, September 1, 1929

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John Wesley O'Bryen

Deputy Sheriff John O'Bryen was shot and killed near Gasden as he walked out of a church after attending Sunday services.

Horrified members of the congregation said a man walked up to him, shot him three times, and then fired two more shots into his body after he fell to the ground. The suspect immediately surrendered to the sheriff. Deputy Sheriff O'Bryen had seized a gallon of bootleg liquor from the man during a raid at his home earlier that morning.

The 23-year-old suspect was convicted of second degree murder and sentence to 15 years. In June of 1930 he was granted a new trial, convicted again of second degree murder, but sentenced to 10 years. He was paroled on May 24, 1939.


  • Age 43
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender paroled in 1939

ambush, retaliation

Most Recent Reflection

View all 2 Reflections

Deputy Sheriff O’Bryan,
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 Etowah County.

BPA Mike Casey
United States Border Patrol
El Paso Station

September 1, 2019

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