Deputy Sheriff Roy James Fortson, Jr.

Deputy Sheriff Roy James Fortson, Jr.

Philadelphia Sheriff's Office, Pennsylvania

End of Watch Saturday, November 13, 1982

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Roy James Fortson, Jr.

Deputy Sheriff Roy Fortson was shot and killed when he attempted to stop the robbery of a bar at the intersection of 36th Street and Spring Garden Street.

He was inside the bar when two masked subjects entered and announced a robbery at approximately 2:00 am. One of the subjects remained at the front door while the other entered the bar and robbed the bartender. As the subject attempted to leave the bar Deputy Fortson, who was unarmed, tackled him. He was shot multiple times during the ensuing struggle.

Two other off-duty deputies, who had gone outside to make a phone call, returned fire as the subjects fled the scene.

Both subjects, 21 and 26, were later apprehended. The older subject was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.

Deputy Fortson was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and had served with the Philadelphia Sheriff's Office for 12 years. He was survived by his wife and two children.


  • Age 35
  • Tour 3 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Sentenced to life

off duty, robbery

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I really don’t have a reflection but I would have liked to have met you as I was adopted out. You were told about me but probably thought it wasn’t true. Never the less, reading all the reflection tells me something about you and how you were loved. RIH

Michael Hargrove

October 5, 2023

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