Chief of Police J. B. Hamby

Chief of Police J. B. Hamby

Catoosa Police Department, Oklahoma

End of Watch Friday, September 1, 1978

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J. B. Hamby

Chief of Police J.B. Hamby was shot and killed after responding to a robbery in progress at a local driver's licensing station.

Upon arriving, he engaged two suspects in gunfire, fatally wounding one of them, and was wounded himself. Chief Hamby went outside to reload his revolver, giving the second suspect an opportunity to escape. Chief Hamby stumbled to a nearby laundromat for assistance and succumbed to his wounds on the floor.

The second suspect was eventually apprehended, convicted of murder, and sentenced to life in prison. A ballistics test of the gun he used determined that he shot Chief Hamby. On October 28th, 1985, he escaped from prison. His case aired on an episode of Unsolved Mysteries on October 7th, 1992, and an anonymous tip led to his arrest in Spearfish, South Dakota. He was returned to prison and received additional time for escape. He was denied parole in 2008.

Chief Hamby was the only officer on the Catoosa Police Department and had served in law enforcement for 20 years. He was survived by his two sons.

He is buried in Hamby Cemetery, Jay, Delaware County, Oklahoma.


  • Age 46
  • Tour 20 years
  • Badge 12

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; Pistol
  • Offender One shot and killed


Most Recent Reflection

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I went to Catoosa schools for 12 years & graduated in 1967. I knew J.B. Hamby very well; as he always looked out for the athletes. He was an admired ;aw enforcement officer & feared no one. He always had time to visit with you as he patrolled in his squad car; especially in the evening when things got as rowdy as they could in this small town in the 60's. J.B. didn't like seeing strangers come through Catoosa looking for trouble & everyone knew that & stayed away. I truly think that J.B. exited our world as he he would have wanted: in a gun fight; protecting those he swore to do so. He will always be a hero & friend to me.

Bob Sadler

February 18, 2023

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