Sheriff John Thomas Davis

Sheriff John Thomas Davis

Wayne County Sheriff's Office, Missouri

End of Watch Wednesday, February 16, 1898

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John Thomas Davis

Sheriff John Davis was shot in the head in May of 1881 while he and a deputy collector were attempting to arrest a group of men wanted for the murder of a law enforcement officer and other crimes. Sheriff Davis received information about the location of the suspects and picked up the collector on his way to arrest them. When he entered the home where the men were, one of them shot the sheriff just under the eye and seriously wounded the collector before escaping.

Sheriff Davis, who went on to become a prominent state politician, survived the shooting and lived with a bullet lodged in his brain for 17 years. There were no apparent effects until 1892 when he began having epileptic seizures. He died in 1898, a week after surgery to remove the bullet.

He was survived by his wife and daughter.


  • Age 42
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Monday, May 23, 1881
  • Weapon Handgun; Revolver
  • Offender Escaped

arrest attempt

Most Recent Reflection

View all 5 Reflections

Your heroism and service is honored today, the 111th anniversary of your death. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service.

Rest In Peace.

Phyllis Loya

Phyllis Loya
mother of fallen officer Larry Lasater

February 16, 2009

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