Chief of Police John Holmes Ferriss

Chief of Police John Holmes Ferriss

Goodlettsville Police Department, Tennessee

End of Watch Wednesday, January 23, 1952

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John Holmes Ferriss

Chief John Ferriss was shot and killed by a suspect he had arrested several months earlier. Chief Ferriss was eating dinner at a local motel restaurant, in uniform, when the suspect approached him, grabbed his service weapon, and shot him five times. The suspect fled the scene and was apprehended by deputies a short time later.

The wife of the 32-year-old suspect said during a 15 hour period before he shot Chief Ferriss, he drank two quarts of whiskey and 23 bottles of beer. The suspect was convicted of murder and sentenced to 21 years. He was paroled on September 6, 1961.

At the time of Chief Ferriss' murder, Goodlettsville was an unincorporated town. Chief Ferriss had been deputized by the sheriff of Davidson County to serve as the town's police chief. He served in the position for 2 years and was survived by his wife and child.


  • Age 48
  • Tour 2 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Paroled in 1961

Most Recent Reflection

View all 6 Reflections

As I read the above announcement, it is close to my heart as I am that child listed as a survivor. At the time of Daddy's death, I was four years old, yet have some very vivid memories of some of our times together. As I am now 67 years old, I guess I think of him more often in hopes that our meeting together will be closer in death. He was a brave, kind and loving person who gave his life for the place he served, Goodlettsville, TN. I love you Daddy and think of you often.

Wanda Ferriss Bond

May 10, 2015

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