Patrolman Wallace Earl Nesbitt

Patrolman Wallace Earl Nesbitt

Newport News Police Department, Virginia

End of Watch Thursday, January 8, 1970

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Wallace Earl Nesbitt

Patrolman Wallace Nesbitt was shot and killed while arresting a man for writing a bad check in the Sherwood Shopping Center in a hobby stort. While handcuffing the suspect the man suddenly spun around, grabbed Patrolman Nesbitt's service weapon, and shot him. He then shot the Hobby store owner in the abdomen leaving him seriously wounded.

The suspect, 24, was convicted of murder and sentenced to 35 years. He was convicted of maiming the store owner and received an additional 16 years. He was paroled in December of 1982. He was only out of prison a few days when he was arrested in Newport News for possession of heroin. For violating his parole he was returned to prison to serve the remainder of his sentence. He was convicted of possession of heroin and sentenced to 8 years.

Patrolman Nesbitt was a Vietnam War veteran and had served with the Newport News Police Department for 2 years. He was survived by his expectant wife, who later gave birth to a son. Patrolman Nesbitt's son went on to serve as a police officer in the Newport News Police Department.


  • Age 30
  • Tour 2 years, 1 month
  • Badge 67
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Not available

arrest attempt

Most Recent Reflection

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I was a Shore Patrol petty officer stationed on USS Enterprise at the Newport News shipyard in January of 1970. I patrolled Newport News on a port and starboard schedule, which means 3 days on two off two days on three off. I was assigned to the police station downtown, and pretty much took care of inebriated sailors. I remember all the shore patrol Petty officers were indeed very much shocked at the tragic death of Officer Nesbitt. It is interesting to note that the USS El Paso was being built at the Newport News ship yard at the same time I was on shore patrol duty. My hometown is El Paso Texas.

ATR-2 David J. Ferrell
United States Navy

February 20, 2022

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