Patrolman Joseph Eual Messer

Patrolman Joseph Eual Messer

Oliver Springs Police Department, Tennessee

End of Watch Saturday, July 29, 1967

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Joseph Eual Messer

Patrolman Joseph Messer was accidentally shot and killed by another officer during a fight with a suspect.

Patrolman Messer had arrested the suspect and seven other people for fighting. All eight were released, but the suspect got into a traffic accident, causing considerable property damage to a yard, so he was taken into custody a second time.

While attempting to lock the suspect up, there was a scuffle between Patrolman Messer, the night desk sergeant, and the suspect. During the fight, the suspect got hold of the desk sergeant's .45 caliber pistol, but dropped it. The sergeant regained control of the weapon and while attempting to shoot the suspect, accidentally shot Patrolman Messer.

The suspect was charged with felonious assault with a deadly weapon and assaulting an officer.

Patrolman Messer had served with the Oliver Springs Police Department for three months. He had previously been a guard at the Brushy Mountain State prison at Petros and a deputy for four years with the Anderson County Sheriff's office. He was survived by his wife, son, daughter, parents, three brothers, and three sisters.


  • Age 42
  • Tour 4 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire (Inadvertent)

Most Recent Reflection

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Thank you for your service and please know that your sacrifice is one that will never, ever be forgotten by your law enforcement brethren. Rest in peace always.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

July 29, 2020

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