Patrolman William Stanley Meadows

Patrolman William Stanley Meadows

Amarillo Police Department, Texas

End of Watch Monday, June 8, 1964

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William Stanley Meadows

Patrolman Meadows was shot and killed just outside of the city limits during a vehicle pursuit of two juvenile suspects who had fled from a boy's camp and taken a family hostage. During the pursuit the two juveniles repeatedely fired at officers, striking Patrolman Meadows in the head.

Other officers returned fire, killing one of the suspects, age 14. The other 15-year-old suspect was sent to a state reformatory. On his 17th birthday he was charged with murder but was later acquitted because it could not be determined who fired the fatal shot. He returned to his home in Hammon, Oklahoma, where on February 8, 1967, he murdered his father, his brother, and a friend. He was convicted of three counts of murder and sentenced to death. His sentence was later commuted to three life terms. He died in prison November 13, 2013.

Patrolman Meadows was survived by his wife.


  • Age 23
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle; .257 caliber
  • Offender One shot and killed

Most Recent Reflection

View all 23 Reflections

In June of 1964 I had just finished my junior year at WTSU but I still needed to take a summer course to stay on schedule to graduate in 1965. The dorms were closed for the summer and I needed a place to live. As luck would have it my good friend Todd W. called me with an offer. He was working for a funeral home in the heart of downtown Amarillo and as part of his employment was required to live on premise. The company needed someone to always be present during non-business hours in case a family or loved ones needed to view a body. He couldn’t literally always be there so he needed a roommate to share the responsibility. It was a free room for the duration of the summer so I jumped at the chance.
In the hours after midnight of June 8th, we were awakened with a lot of loud noises. There were doors opening and closing loudly, rolling gurneys, heavy footsteps and loud voices. It went on for a couple of hours or more before all was finally quiet. We had to pass through the embalming room to access the shower and toilet. That morning on my way to take a shower I encountered a gruesome sight. There were two bodies side by side on gurneys with wounds that suggested violent deaths. One was a mature man, older than me but still a young man, the other was younger than me by several years. Of course Todd and I rather quickly learned the details of their deaths.
What I encountered that morning has never dimmed in my memory and I seldom speak of it, mainly out of respect for the two deceased, but also because I’ve always had a nagging doubt as to whether I should have been allowed to see it in the first place, and not least, it’s a bit of a mood killer. It all happened 55 years ago. I’ll soon be 76 and I find myself being more and more philosophical. I think of the scene I encountered that morning as an interesting juxtaposition. Symbolic in the sense that hours earlier they were mortal combatants and now the two lay next to one another with none of life’s accouterments, only themselves and their deeds, awaiting God’s judgment. I find it easy to believe that Officer Meadows quickly entered into the Kingdom of Heaven, but I always wonder just how harshly God chose to judge that troubled young teenager.
I hope my account of these events has not reopened any old wounds, and I sincerely hope that the passage of time has brought solace to all.
Respectfully Submitted,
Kennith Stevens

Kennith W. Stevens
Student at the time

June 22, 2019

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