Patrolman Jerry Wayne Cawthon

Patrolman Jerry Wayne Cawthon

Amarillo Police Department, Texas

End of Watch Wednesday, January 1, 1964

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Jerry Wayne Cawthon

Patrolman Cawthon was shot and killed following a vehicle pursuit of a juvenile who ran a red light.

The suspect finally stopped at his home and ran to the back door, where Patrolman Cawthon apprehended him. During the struggle, the juvenile's brother and a friend came to his aid and began to argue with the officer. The friend, who was standing behind Patrolman Cawthon, grabbed his service weapon as he spun him around, then shot him in the mouth.

The suspect was apprehended on the scene and was sentenced to ten years in prison.

Patrolman Cawthon was survived by his wife, son, and two daughters.


  • Age 24
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Sentenced to 10 years

vehicle pursuit

Most Recent Reflection

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I was 6 when Officer Cawthon was murdered. He was a friend of my parents. I hung out at his house. He took me for a ride on his Harley a few times. I remember his patrol dog, a beautiful German Shepard, that was very protective of him. If only he had been able to have his dog with him that night. From what I remember, A.P.D. had had complaints about officers using their dogs too aggressively and had suspended their use.
I have thought about Jerry often over the years. The few memories I have are ones I will never forget. God bless you Officer Cawthon.

M. L. Cain
long ago family friend

July 7, 2022

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