Chief Deputy James William Cantrell

Chief Deputy James William Cantrell

Forsyth County Sheriff's Office, Georgia

End of Watch Monday, January 10, 1972

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James William Cantrell

Chief Deputy James Cantrell and Special Deputy Sheriff Larry Mulkey were shot and killed during a traffic stop of a burglary suspect on US 19, south of Cumming.

Chief Deputy Cantrell and Special Deputy Mulkey had stopped a vehicle he had seen the previous night, leaving a country club that had been discovered burglarized later in the day. During the traffic stop, the suspects were able to disarm Chief Deputy Cantrell. He was handcuffed before he and Reserve Deputy Mulkey were forced into the patrol car's trunk. Once in the trunk, the suspects fatally shot them both.

Prior to approaching the vehicle, one of the deputies had written down the license plate number on a piece of paper. The evidence led to the arrest and conviction of the suspects.

It was later determined that the suspects were prison escapees and had made a pact together to kill any officers who stopped them.

Chief Deputy Cantrell was survived by his wife and two children.

The stretch from Highway 9 to Ronald Reagan Boulevard was renamed “Deputy Bill Cantrell Memorial Road.” The portion from Highway 9 to Hutchinson Road was renamed “Larry Mulkey Memorial Road.”


  • Age 37
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Convicted

escapee, traffic stop

Most Recent Reflection

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This is such a heartbreaking case, I will continue to keep Chief Deputy Cantrell's family in my heart and prayers.

Libby Smalley

April 18, 2023

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