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 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. A ballistics test of the gun he used determined that he shot Chief Hamby. On October 28, 1985, he escaped from prison. His case aired on a October 7th, 1992, episode of Unsolved Mysteries. 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 department. He had served in law enforcement for 20 years. He was survived by his two sons and is buried in Hamby Cemetery, Jay, Delaware County, Oklahoma.


  • Age 46
  • Tour 20 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

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

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I was in middle school when this happened! I rode the bus with his nephews and son! I recently watched an unsolved mystery which reminded my of this tragic event!

Suzanne Sexton Hughes
Friend of family

March 31, 2018

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