Constable Calvin Cantrell

Constable Calvin Cantrell

McMinn County Constable's Office, Tennessee

End of Watch Friday, September 27, 1935

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Calvin Cantrell

Constable Cal Cantrell was shot and killed with his own service revolver while arresting a subject for creating a disturbance in the Shepherd Town section of West Athens.

Officers had been called to the area earlier in the night when a drunk subject created a disturbance and cut another man on the chin. Officers searched the area but were unable to locate the man. Several hours passed when the man began banging on a door and demanded entry while pretending to be an officer. The occupants gathered their children and left through another door. They went to a neighbor's home and then to the county jail to notify Constable Cantrell.

Constable Cantrell returned to the scene alone, located the man inside of the house, and placed him under arrest. When they got into his car a violent struggle ensued in which the man disarmed Constable Cantrell and shot him five times. The man fled the scene and hid the gun in a restaurant on North White Street. He was arrested later in the morning at his workplace.

The suspect, 45, who claimed self defense, was convicted of Constable Cantrell's murder and sentenced to life in prison. He was granted a new trial, convicted of manslaughter, and sentenced to 5 years on February 6, 1937.

Constable Cantrell was survived by his wife, three sons, three daughters, sister, and two brothers.


  • Age 44
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Sentenced to 5 years


Most Recent Reflection

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This was my papaw . My dad was John raymond Cantrell one of Cal's 3 sons.

Roger Cantrell
My papaw.

December 4, 2022

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