Deputy Sheriff Millard Owen Messersmith

Deputy Sheriff Millard Owen Messersmith

Rutherford County Sheriff's Office, North Carolina

End of Watch Thursday, May 31, 1979

Add to My Heroes

Millard Owen Messersmith

Deputy Sheriff Millard Messersmith, Trooper Robert Peterson, and Captain Roy Huskey were shot and killed after responding to a domestic dispute between a man and his teenager daughter in Rutherford County.

Captain Huskey was the first officer dispatched to the scene and was shot in the head by the suspect as he exited his patrol car. When Captain Huskey failed to check in Deputy Messersmith responded to the scene. As he pulled into the driveway he saw Captain Huskey laying next to the patrol car, and he began to back out of the driveway.

The suspect opened fire on Deputy Messersmith as he backed out of the driveway, striking him in the head. A neighbor called the sheriff's office to report that two deputies had been shot. Trooper Peterson heard garbled radio traffic, and although couldn't make out the transmissions, determined something was wrong and began to head toward Rutherfordton. As he drove into town the suspect sped by him.

Trooper Peterson turned around and attempted to stop the car, thinking it was a speeding vehicle and not knowing the suspect had just murdered two deputies. Trooper Peterson's last transmission was that the suspect was running into the woods. Trooper Peterson was found suffering a from a gunshot wound to the head. His service revolver had been fired once. The suspect was apprehended, convicted of capital murder, and executed in 1984.

Bio

  • Age 58
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle; .30-.06
  • Offender Executed in 1984

domestic

Most Recent Reflection

View all 12 Reflections

Deputy Sheriff Messersmith,
On today, the 40th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Rutheford County. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

BPA Mike Casey
United States Border Patrol
El Paso Station

May 31, 2019

Want even more control of your Reflection? Create a free ODMP account now for these benefits:

  • Quick access to your heroes
  • Reflections published quicker
  • Save a Reflection signature
  • View, edit or delete any Reflection you've left in the past

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.