Deputy Sheriff Suzanne Lee Kays

Deputy Sheriff Suzanne Lee Kays

Dallas County Sheriff's Department, Texas

End of Watch Wednesday, January 4, 1989

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Suzanne Lee Kays

Deputy Suzanne Kays was shot and killed with her own weapon after being attacked by a homeless man who had just been released from jail.

Deputy Kays was escorting the man from the Lew Sterrett Justice Center when he suddenly turned and punched her, knocking her to the ground. He continued to strike her on the ground and took her gun while they struggled. He then shot and killed her before running toward the booking area, where he was confronted by several Dallas Police officers who ordered him to drop the gun. When he refused, he was shot in the legs and groin by an officer with a shotgun.

The subject was found incompetent to stand trial and sent to a Texas mental institution. He was sentenced to two life terms. He died in prison.

Deputy Kays was a United States Army veteran and had graduated from her academy class only one week before the incident and was on her second shift. She had been in law enforcement for four years.

The Suzanne L. Kays Detention Facility was named in her honor.


  • Age 33
  • Tour 4 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Found incompetent

prisoner custody

Most Recent Reflection

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Kays, the year is now 2023. You are remembered. Szafran

Dallas Sheriff’s Office. Texas

February 24, 2023

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