Policeman Arthur Gurley

Policeman Arthur Gurley

Lexington Police Department, Tennessee

End of Watch Friday, August 6, 1954

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Arthur Gurley

Policeman Gurley was shot and killed on election day by a candidate who had just lost his bid for the office of sheriff. Policeman Gurley and the police chief followed the candidate, his brother, and another man to their car and demanded the candidate give them a pistol he had. When he refused to give them his pistol a gunfight resulted ending with the death of Policeman Gurley and the chief seriously wounded. The three fled the scene but were arrested after being wounded during a massive manhunt.

The candidate and his brother were adjudged insane and committed at a insane asylum for the criminally insane in Nashville. The candidate was determined sane in 1973, convicted of murder and sentenced to life. He was given credit for the time he served in the asylum and was paroled on August 1, 1973. His brother served a few years in the asylum. The other suspect was convicted of murder and sentenced to 99 years.


  • Age 50
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .45 caliber
  • Offender Not available

Most Recent Reflection

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Officer Arthur Gurley Remembered

Posted on August 12, 2020 Lexington Progress News

On August 6, 1954, Officer Arthur Gurley, of the Lexington Police Department, was killed in line of duty on the grounds of the Henderson County Courthouse stemming from an election day dispute. It was reported as “a blazing gun battle” in some of the newspapers at the time. Police Chief Clovis Stanfill was also critically wounded. The incident occurred on the east end of the courthouse, opposite of what is now Community Bank.

Officer Gurley had been working overtime due to the election night. Chief Stanfill, Officer Gurley and another officer, Isom McPeake had approached one of the candidates to serve a warrant for being armed. One source said that Gurley had died on the spot, perhaps around 9:00 p.m. Officer Gurley was recently remembered on the Lexington Police Department’s social media site, and other sites that recognize the “end of watch” for police officers around the nation.

Retired Police Officer

August 12, 2020

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