Deputy Sheriff Aaron Lee Creel

Deputy Sheriff Aaron Lee Creel

Jackson County Sheriff's Office, Florida

End of Watch Thursday, July 4, 1963

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Aaron Lee Creel

Deputy Sheriff Aaron Creel and Deputy Sheriff Allen Finch were Shot and killed by a prisoner in Jackson County Hospital.

The suspect, under a life sentence for robbing a service station in Marianna, set fire to a mattress in his cell. He and three other prisoners were taken to the hospital for minor burns. Deputy Finch escorted the inmate to the restroom where he gained control of Deputy Finch's weapon and then fatally shot him. He then walked to a nearby room and shot Deputy Creel twice in the head as he was guarding the other prisoners. He then shot and killed an innocent bystander.

The inmate walked out of the hospital and forced a couple to drive him away in their car. He released his hostages near Donalsonville, Georgia, but kept their car. Later in the day the inmate was located and chased by two Georgia Bureau of Investigation agents near Smithville. They cornered him near a school where he jumped out and grabbed a 14-year-old boy. With a gun to the boy's head, he forced the agents to surrender their weapons. He then took the boy, the agents' weapon, and their car.

The suspect drove a few miles away, stopped at a house and shot through the front door when the homeowner refused to open it. He then fled on foot with the boy to a nearby pecan grove as Georgia state troopers arrived on the scene. One trooper was shot in the head during an exchange of gunfire. Another trooper, 200 yards away, shot the suspect through the chest with a .30-.30 rifle. He fell to his knees still holding his gun, pointed at the boy's head. The boy quickly picked up another gun that the suspect had dropped and shot him several times.

Deputy Creel was a U.S. Army veteran of WWII. He was survived by his wife and four children.


  • Age 41
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Shot and killed

escape attempt, prisoner custody

Most Recent Reflection

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Deputy Sheriff Creel,
On today, the 60th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice-not just as a Law Enforcement Officer but for our Country as well when you served with the U.S. Army during World War II. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

July 4, 2023

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