Detective James M. Compton, Jr.

Detective James M. Compton, Jr.

Indianapolis Police Department, Indiana

End of Watch Tuesday, March 16, 1976

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James M. Compton, Jr.

Detective James Compton was shot and killed while attempting to serve a narcotics warrant on a man suspected of selling marijuana to students at a nearby high school.

Detective Compton and three other detectives went to the man's home at approximately 10:00 pm to serve the warrant. When Detective Compton knocked on the door and identified himself, the suspect fired a shotgun from inside, striking him in the head.

Detective Compton was able to crawl to the front yard where he collapsed before being transported to a local hospital where he died approximately two hours later. The other detectives returned fire at the suspect, fatally wounding him.

Detective Compton had served with the Indianapolis Police Department for only six weeks and had previously served as a police officer in Kansas for two years. He was a US Navy veteran of the Vietnam War and the recipient of a Purple Heart. Detective Compton was survived by his wife, 6- and 11-year old daughters and a 5-year-old son.


  • Age 29
  • Tour 5 years, 1 month
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Shotgun
  • Offender Shot and killed

Most Recent Reflection

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On this actual anniversary of your untimely and heroic death I’d like to reiterate my previous reflection and say that your service and sacrifice will always be remembered by your law enforcement brethren. Rest in peace always and thank you for your military service as well.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

March 16, 2021

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