Deputy Sheriff Wilson McLain

Deputy Sheriff Wilson McLain

Harlan County Sheriff's Office, Kentucky

End of Watch Saturday, April 17, 1976

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Wilson McLain

Deputy Wilson McLain was shot and killed while off duty, with his own handgun, in an unprovoked attack.

He was standing in a market in Lee County, Virginia when a man walked up behind him, took Deputy McLain's revolver out of its holster, and shot him five times. The suspect was shot and killed a few days later by Lee County Sheriff's deputies following a vehicle pursuit and shootout.

It is surmised that the suspect shot Deputy McLain either because he was wanted for questioning in a recent robbery or because he was upset that two of his brothers had just been convicted of a 1975 murder.

Deputy Wilson is survived by his wife, 14 living children, and 15 grandchildren.


  • Age 49
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Location Virginia
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Shot and killed

off duty, retaliation

Most Recent Reflection

View all 15 Reflections

hello Daddy ,it's your baby girl Judy Elaine McLain. Mother Barbara McLain. I was the last of the 13teen . Daddy i miss y so much the day u were taken from my life , i knew i had lost the one and only person in this world that loved me . And i so miss the love u filled my life with . Im comung to be by u soon daddy .
Judy McLain Day
DB 01/29/1969 .
Daugther of
Wilson McLain and Barbara McLain .

Judy McLain
7th Daugther Wilsin Mclain

February 29, 2024

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