Deputy Sheriff Travis Milton French

Deputy Sheriff Travis Milton French

McDowell County Sheriff's Department, West Virginia

End of Watch Wednesday, April 20, 1949

Travis Milton French

Deputy French was shot and killed with his own service weapon by a prisoner in the County Jail. Deputy French had let the man out to use the phone and, when the deputy turned his back, the man grabbed his gun and shot him. Police Officer Boss Johnson of the Welch Police Department and another officer pursued the suspect from the jail to the basement of a nearby house where a gunfight resulted. Officer Johnson and the suspect were shot and killed.

Deputy French had served with the agency for only 4 months. He was survived by his wife and ten children.


  • Age 51
  • Tour 4 months
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

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

Most Recent Reflection

View all 7 Reflections

Your heroism and service is honored today, the 63rd anniversary year of your death. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service. My cherished son Larry Lasater was a fellow police officer murdered in the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

Time never diminishes respect and your memory will always be honored and revered.

When I read of an officer leaving a family of ten children, I cannot help wondering how the family fared in the days before compensation for line of duty deaths. It must have been so hard for his widow to be the head of such a large family.

From his daughter's reflection, I can see Deputy French is still loved and missed. I hope Janet has been able to learn more about her beloved father.

Phyllis Loya
Mom of fallen California Officer Larry Lasater, Pittsburg PD, eow 4/24/05

April 20, 2012

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