Police Officer James Michael Carpenter

Police Officer James Michael Carpenter

Crowley Police Department, Texas

End of Watch Tuesday, February 13, 1979

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James Michael Carpenter

Officer Carpenter was shot and killed after stopping a pickup truck which had been reported stolen from Fort Worth earlier in the night. After confirming that the truck was stolen and that the two occupants were wanted, he placed them both in his cruiser, with one in the back seat and the other in the front seat. The suspect in the front seat suddenly lunged at Officer Carpenter in an attempt to grab his gun.
The two struggled and Officer Carpenter began to overpower the suspect. The second suspect then began to help and the suspect in the front seat gained control of the weapon. The suspects ordered Officer Carpenter out of the cruiser and he complied. He then jumped back into the cruiser in an attempt to take the keys out of the ignition. When he did so the suspect shot him in the chest, fatally wounding him. The suspects fled the scene but were arrested several days later in Louisiana. The shooter was sentenced to death but was retried seven years later and sentenced to life. The other suspect was released on parole after several years.
Officer Carpenter had been in law enforcement for five years and was survived by his wife and stepdaughter.


  • Age 25
  • Tour 5 years
  • Badge 101

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Not available

Most Recent Reflection

View all 16 Reflections

I remember this incident very well. The night Bill Straw was kidnapped I was a police officer with the Saginaw, Texas PD. Bills wife was dispatcher at that time for Saginaw PD and news quickly spread of Bill’s kidnapping. As I recall the kidnappers and car thieves left Bill tied up in a barn and stole the truck. Stolen pickup belonging to Bill Straw was stopped by Officer Carpenter of the Crowley PD and during the stop Officer Carpenter was murdered.
May you RIP my brother and never be forgotten.
May GOD always watch over and protect your loved ones.

Deputy Sheriff (Ret) Glen Allison
Tarrant County Sheriff Dept Ft Worth Tx

September 30, 2018

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