Patrolman Thomas Alonzo Nicholson

Patrolman Thomas Alonzo Nicholson

Lakeland Police Department, Florida

End of Watch Sunday, March 27, 1932

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Thomas Alonzo Nicholson

Patrolman Thomas Nicholson and Patrolman William Barnett were shot and killed after they responded to a domestic disturbance in North Lakeland.

The two officers were struggling with two men when they shot and killed both officers. Other officers arrived at the scene and took both men into custody. It was later determined that both suspects used the same gun and each killed one officer.

Both suspects, 21 and 66, were convicted of Patrolman Nicholson's and Patrolman Barnett's murder and sentenced to death. Both appealed and were granted new trials. The older suspect was again convicted of murder and sentenced to life. He applied for a pardon on February 7, 1936. At the other suspect's second trial a witness said he saw him with a pistol but said he never actually saw him shoot Patrolman Barnett. Several other witnesses testified that he told them that he did kill Patrolman Barnett. He was acquitted. The jury said there was not enough evidence for a conviction.

On June 13, 1934, he was arrested for carrying concealed weapons and was in a very intoxicated condition. Because of other recent problems with him, the state sanity commission declared him insane an he was committed at the Tallahassee State Mental Hospital. He escaped from the Chattahoochee Mental Hospital along with another inmate on July 12, 1942. Both robbed and beat a man, 41, to death in Levy County, Florida, and were recaptured. Both were arrested along with his wife and another couple in Orlando. He admitted to the murder and then admitted to four unsolved murders in Miami which he was charged with. He was declared sane and executed in the electric chair on November 22, 1943.


  • Age Not available
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .38 caliber
  • Offender One acquitted; One sentenced to life


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It was 90 years ago today you watch ended.

I hate that my grandfather lost you at such a young age. He lived on though. He had a long life. I am sure that you were waiting to give him a big hug when he went home.

I thank you for my granddad that I did get to know. Thank you for your service. I look forward to meeting you one day.

Thank you for your service. You are not forgotten.

Kevin Williams
Great grandson

March 27, 2022

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