The Police Memorial serves as a timeless reminder of those officers who lost their lives in the line of duty. Their names, etched in granite, mark their permanent place on the force. They are the ones who made the ultimate sacrifice while fulfilling the vows to serve and protect.
Help us in remembering those who have fallen in the line of duty.
Officer James Moran
James Moran was born in Ireland and immigrated to the United States. On Saturday, April 2, 1892, Officer Moran and his partner were on patrol when they saw two men walking on N. Tryon St. carrying bags of flour. When the officers aproached the men, one of them began to run away. Officer Moran's partner chased the fleeing suspect, while Officer Moran stayed with the other man. Moran's partner heard a shot and turned to see Moran fall to the ground as the other suspect ran off. Officer Moran succumbed to his injuries two days later and was the first Charlotte Police officer to die in the line of duty.
Officer James H. Brown
Officer James Brown died after struggling with a suspect near the corner of East Trade and North College streets on August 2, 1904.
Officer Brown had testified against the suspect earlier in the day and the man was overheard by another officer saying that he was going to cause Officer Brown to lose his job.
Officer Brown returned to his post after court and was confronted by the man a short time later. He told the man to continue on his way or he would be arrested. Words were exchanged and a struggle ensued. Officer Brown eventually took the suspect into custody.
Afterward, the officer felt ill and was attended to by the city physician, who sent him home. He suffered a heart attack a short time after arriving home. The coroner ruled Officer Brown’s death accidental as a result of a heart attack and ruptured spleen. All charges against the suspect were dropped.
Officer Brown had served with the Charlotte Police Department for 6 months. He was survived by his wife and one child. He was buried at Elmwood Cemetery in Charlotte.
Officer Sampson E. Cole
On January 1, 1905, Officer Sampson Cole was shot and killed while investigating a disturbance involving a man with a gun.
A man located Officer Cole and told him that another man had threatened him with a handgun. Officer Cole and his son-in-law followed the man back to the location of the confrontation and then confronted the suspect on a set of railroad tracks.
Officer Cole drew his service revolver and ordered the suspect to raise his hands. The suspect raised his left hand and then reached into his right pocket, and pulled out a revolver. He immediately opened fire, striking Officer Cole’s son-in-law in the chest and then Officer Cole in the abdomen and neck, mortally wounding him.
The suspect fled but was arrested several days later in Fort Mill, S.C. He was returned to Charlotte where he was charged with murder. The jury found him guilty of the less serious charge of manslaughter and sentenced him to two years on the county chain gang.
Officer Cole had served with the Mecklenburg County Police Department for four years. He was survived by his wife. He was buried in Elmwood Cemetery in Charlotte.
Special Officer John Robert Estridge
Special Officer J. Robert Estridge responded to a call about a disturbance in the balcony of the old Dixie Theatre on East Trade St. Family records say that he and his partner, Officer John Wilson, were coming up the stairs when both officers were shot. Estridge died that evening, March 29, 1913, from his wounds. He was 39 years old.
No one was ever apprehended.
Officer John Fesperman
On Saturday, February 16, 1924, Officer Fesperman and Mecklenburg County police officers raided a liquor house near Myers Park. They arrested one man who was left under Officer Fesperman's charge, while the other officers went in search of the owner of the house. The arrestee pulled out a handgun and shot Officer Fesperman. He died on the way to the hospital.
Detective John North Byers
On September 28, 1926, Detective Byers and Chief of Detectives Joseph Orr suffered multiple injuries due to an automobile crash while participating in a department "test riot call" exercise. As the driver, Detective A. Rogers, attempted to pass a truck, the patrol car skidded on the pavement and went down an embankment. Chief of Detectives Orr died of his injuries the next day on September 29, 1926. . Detective Byers died of his injuries on September 30, 1926, two days after the accident. Detective Byers served on the Charlotte Police Department for 2 years. He was 32 years old. Detective Rogers survived the accident.
Chief of Detectives Joseph Eckles Orr
On September 28, 1926, Detective Byers and Chief of Detectives Joseph Orr suffered multiple injuries due to an automobile crash while participating in a department "test riot call" exercise. As the driver, Detective A. Rogers, attempted to pass a truck, the patrol car skidded on the pavement and went down an embankment. Chief of Detectives Orr died of his injuries the next day on September 20, 1926. Detective Byers died of his injuries on September 30, 1926, two days after the accident. Detective Rogers survived the accident.
Officer Robert M. Reid
On December 31, 1926, Officer Reid was struck down by a car at the intersection of College and Trade Streets, as he was directing traffic to prevent congestion at the Square. Officer Reid, 49, died January 1, 1927 as a result of his injuries.
Detective H. Edgar Correll
On January 22, 1929, Detective Ed Correll and his partner were searching a house for stolen goods. During the search the suspect pulled out a gun and fired at the detectives. Detective Correll, 40,was fatally shot and his partner was wounded. Although the suspect fled the scene, he was apprehended a short time later.
Officer William Stephen Rogers
On August 30, 1929 at approximately 0300 hours, Officer Rogers, 33, was on foot patrol with fellow officers in the Paw Creek area, looking into a series of robberies that had occurred in that community. As the officers approached a suspicious, parked vehicle and identified themselves, the driver opened fire. Officer Rogers and the assailant were mortally wounded in the ensuing gunfire exchange.
Detective Thomas H. Jenkins
On October 21, 1929 Detective Jenkins and his partner were at First and South Davidson Streets attempting to quell a riot. The detectives were trying to make an arrest when a suspect grabbed a "riot" shotgun from Jenkins' partner. During the struggle that ensued, Detective Jenkins, 48, was shot and later died from his injuries.
Officer Benjamin H. Frye
On June 9, 1930, Officer Frye was on duty checking businesses. He found the front door of 417 S. College St. unlocked and went inside to investigate. As Officer Frye shined his flashlight inside the establishment, the suspect opened fire and struck Frye five times. Officer Frye was later transported to Mercy Hospital where he died from his injuries. Frye was 44 years old.
Officer Charles P. Nichols
In the early morning on March 29, 1936, Officer Nichols was on patrol in the business district. At the intersection of Third and S. Tryon Streets, Officer Nichols was struck by a hit-and-run driver. Officer Nichols, 60, remained unconscious until his death on April 17.
Officer Rufus L. Biggers
On February 12, 1937, Officer Biggers, a motorcycle officer, escorted a school bus to Matthews School. As he was returning to his regular patrol area, he was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver. Officer Biggers was 47 years old.
Detective C. H. Baker
Detective Charlie Baker, 36, was transporting two prisoners back to Charlotte, when he was involved in a fatal car crash on April 7,1941. He was hospitalized in Roanoke Rapids, N.C. and died from his injuries five days later on April 12.
Officer Johnny Reed Annas
On May 21, 1960, Officer Annas and his partner were trying to break up a street fight between two men at the corner of South Church Street and West Summit Avenue. A large crowd had gathered to watch the fight. While Officer Annas went back to the patrol car to radio for assistance, the other officer was assaulted by members of the crowd. As Officer Annas rushed to assist his partner, a member of the crowd grabbed the officer's service weapon and shot the 25 year old Annas, fatally wounding him.
Sergeant Lewis Edward Robinson, Sr.
Content2 On May 4, 1970, in a trailer park near McIlwaine Rd., Sergeant Robinson and fellow officers were attempting to apprehend a man suspected of firing shots at a utility worker. As the officers searched the area, the suspect opened fire on them with a high-powered rifle. Sergeant Robinson, 44, was shot and mortally wounded.
Officer Ronnie E. McGraw
On October 17, 1970, Officer McGraw, 25, led a raid on a gambling house on East Fourth St. Officers were fired upon as they forced their way inside to serve the warrants. Officer McGraw was fatally wounded during the raid 17 suspects were arrested, and $42,000 in cash, a shotgun and eight handguns were seized.
Officer Edmond "Ed" N. Cannon
While on routine patrol during the evening of November 23, 1981, Officer Cannon stopped at a convenience store in his patrol area. Unknown to Officer Cannon, three men had just robbed the store and were still inside. They ambushed Officer Cannon, mortally wounded him with five shots, and fled. Officer Cannon was 26 years old.
Officer Ernest Coleman
On June 30, 1982, Officer Coleman was working off-duty at a convenience store on Oaklawn Ave. Earlier in the evening Officer Coleman had removed an unruly customer from the store. The subject returned with a gun and shot Officer Coleman. Coleman, age 31, died the next day, July 1, from his injuries.
Officer Timothy W. Whittington
While on patrol on July 16, 1985, Officer Tim Whittington and a fellow officer responded to a first degree burglary call at 1009 Tennyson Drive. The subject had robbed an elderly couple and stabbed the elderly man in the chest, arm, and hand, taking a pistol from the home as he fled. When Officer Whittington stopped to question a man who matched the suspect's description, the man pulled a gun and killed Officer Whittington. Officer Whittington was 26 years old.
Officer Robert L. Smith
On January 15, 1987, Officer Robert Smith responded with other officers to a call on Spyglass Place in reference to shots fired into a condominium complex. While Officer Smith was searching for the source of the shots, a suspect opened fire on Smith, fatally wounding him. Officer Smith was 27 years old.
Officer Milus "Terry" Lyles
Content2 On August 5, 1990, Officer Terry Lyles and another officer responded to a domestic disturbance call in northwest Charlotte. Officer Lyles arrested a male at the scene for communicating threats and began driving the suspect to jail for processing. During transport the handcuffed suspect retreived a small handgun which he had concealed in his underwear and shot Officer Lyles twice through the driver's seat and again as Officer Lyles stumbled out of the car. Lyles died the next day, August 6, from his wounds.
Officer Eugene A. "Gene" Griffin
On November 22, 1991, Officer Griffin was working off-duty at the Red Roof Inn near Nations Ford Rd. Earlier in the evening, Officer Griffin had banned three teenagers from the property. Officer Griffin was sitting in the lobby of the motel when the teenagers returned and one of them fired a shotgun at Officer Griffin. Griffin, 42, died a short time later at the hospital.
Officer Anthony Alford Nobles
On October 5, 1993, Officers Andy Nobles and John Burnette were responding to a call about a suspicious vehicle in Boulevard Homes. After the officers confirmed that the vehicle had been reported stolen and that the driver was a wanted person, the driver ran into a nearby wooded area. The officers caught up with the suspect, and a struggle ensued. During the fight, the suspect was able to grab one of the officers' service weapon and shoot both of them. The suspect was later apprehended after an intense manhunt. Officer Nobles was 26.
Officer John Thomas Burnette, III
On October 5, 1993, Officers John Burnette and Andy Nobles were responding to a call about a suspicious vehicle in Boulevard Homes. After the officers confirmed that the vehicle had been reported stolen and that the driver was a wanted person, the driver ran into a nearby wooded area. The officers caught up with the suspect, and a struggle ensued. During the fight, the suspect was able to grab one of the officers' service weapon and shot both of them The suspect was later apprehended after an intense manhunt. Officer Burnette was 25 years old.
Officer Anthony Scott Futrell
On July 17, 2002, Sergeant Anthony Scott Futrell, a 38-year old Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department pilot, was killed in a helicopter crash in Chowan County in eastern North Carolina. Sergeant Futrell, who piloted the plane, was making a surveillance flight for the Civil Air Patrol as part of a statewide drug eradication program. There was no apparent cause of the crash.
Richard Edward Ashley, Jr., a Chowan County sheriff's deputy, and Boone police Major Robert Kennedy were killed in the crash, also.
Officer Jeffery Shelton
Jeff Shelton and Sean Clark were responding to what should have been a routine disturbance call for service at the Timber Ridge Apartments near Milton Road in east Charlotte the night of Saturday, March 31, 2007.
They were both shot in the head around 11:15 p.m. while struggling with a suspect in the apartment complex parking lot. They died at Carolinas Medical Center in the early morning hours of April 1, 2007, but not before officers picked up Demeatrius Montgomery, who later was charged with their murder. Montgomery is currently awaiting trial.
The community responded to the death of Officers Shelton and Clark with an outpouring of grief, offers of support and aid and thousands of dollars in donations for the slain officers' families. Thousands of officers, including those from more than 38 different departments, joined the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department in mourning the loss of these young officers. Thousands of citizens lined the funeral procession with signs, American flags and tears of grief to pay their final respects to Officers Shelton and Clark. It was an unforgettable show of support.
Officer Shelton, 35, was hired February 28, 2001 and graduated in the 136th Recruit Class. Before joining CMPD, he served in the United States Marine Corps. He was married to Jennifer Sparks Shelton.
Officer Sean Robert Clark
Sean Clark and Jeff Shelton were responding to what should have been a routine distrubance call for service at the Timber Ridge Apartments near Milton Road in east Charlotte the night of Saturday, March 31, 2007.
They were both shot in the head around 11:15 p.m. while struggling with a suspect in the apartment complex parking lot. They died at Carolinas Medical Center in the early morning hours of April 1, 2007, but not before officers picked up Demeatrius Montgomery, who later was charged with their murders. Montgomery is currently awaiting trial.
The community responded to the deaths of Officers Clark and Shelton with an outpouring of grief, offers of support and aid and thousands of dollars in donations for the slain officers' families. Thousands of officers, including those from more than 38 different departments, joined the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department in mourning the loss of these young officers. Thousands of citizens lined the funeral procession with signs, American flags and tears of grief to pay their final respects to Officers Clark and Shelton. It was an unforgettable show of support.
Officer Clark, 34, was hired January 23, 2006 and graduated in the 148th Recruit Class. He was a 1991 graduate of West Mecklenburg High School and had served in the United States Air Force before joining CMPD. He was married to Sherry Jones Clark. At the time of Sean's death, they had a 3 1/2 year old son, Brayden, and they were awaiting the birth of their second son.
Officer Frederick A. Thornton
On February 25, 2011, Officer Thornton was critically injured when a flash grenade discharged while he was attempting to render the equipment safe after a SWAT warrant service. Officer Thornton underwent emergency surgery but succumbed to his injuries later that evening.
Officer Thornton was a 28 year veteran of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department . For 23 of those years he served on the SWAT team and was the longest serving member of the team in the department’s history. Throughout his career in law enforcement, Officer Thornton received numerous departmental and state awards for his bravery, heroism, and community service. He was deployed to assist in affected areas after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and 2006. He also assisted in flood relief efforts in Indiana in 2008.
Officer Thornton is survived by his wife, four children, and a granddaughter. Fred was 50 years old at the time of his death.