Sergeant James Joshua Cowart

Sergeant James Joshua Cowart

Des Moines Police Department, Iowa

End of Watch Monday, December 7, 1931

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James Joshua Cowart

Sergeant James Cowart was shot and killed by a former deputy sheriff he had arrested five years earlier.

He was at home when the subject knocked on his door at 6:30 a.m. When he answered it, the subject, standing in the yard, fired multiple shots through the glass-enclosed porch, striking Sergeant Cowart in the stomach.

Arriving officers found the subject fatally wounded after his shotgun accidentally discharged as he attempted to dismantle it.

Sergeant Cowart had served with the Des Moines Police Department for nine years. He was survived by his wife, son, and daughter.


  • Age 43
  • Tour 9 years
  • Badge 96
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Sunday, December 6, 1931
  • Weapon Shotgun
  • Offender Accidentally killed himself

off duty, retaliation

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Thank you for your courage and dedication. You were taken away far too soon. We will never forget you. Rest in peace

Fellow citizen

December 7, 2023

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