Deputy Sheriff John R. Klem, III

Deputy Sheriff John R. Klem, III

Forrest County Sheriff's Office, Mississippi

End of Watch Monday, September 30, 1985

Add to My Heroes

John R. Klem, III

Deputy Sheriff John Klem succumbed to gunshot wounds sustained on September 15th, 1985, at 12:55 am while searching a subject.

He had responded to a call at a convenience store about a man bothering the two female clerks at the Big K Truck Stop at 7060 U.S. 49 North. When Deputy Klem arrived he recognized the suspect as being involved in an incident the previous night. As he patted the man down the suspect suddenly attacked him.

The man gained control of Deputy Klem's weapon and shot him twice. Deputy Klem was transported to Forrest General Hospital where he succumbed to his wounds. The suspect was arrested and sentenced to life in prison.

Deputy Klem had served with the Forrest County Sheriff's Office for 13 years. He was survived by his wife and three sons.


  • Age 44
  • Tour 13 years
  • Badge Forrest-20

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Sunday, September 15, 1985
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Sentenced to life


Most Recent Reflection

View all 34 Reflections

I was the first officer on scene that night and what happened to Deputy Klem could have happened to any of us. While searching for the suspect later that same morning , I was riding with Former MHP legend Lee Shelbourn “due to burning my units engine up while chasing the suspect as he left the scene driving Klem’s unit” Shelbourn and I located the suspect in a wooded area and made the arrest. I was a 2 year rookie then, now just recently retired but I haven’t forgotten any details about that night and because of that incident and the unthinkable circumstances surrounding Deputy Klems death we were able to devote countless training hours in hopes to prevent such tragedies from ever happening again. There was also a police training video made called “ It can’t happen to me”. Deputy Klem was a great man and a Law-enforcement hero.

Former Director of Training Capt. Ezell
Hattiesburg Police Dept. retired

August 19, 2019

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