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Fallen Officers


DECEMBER 21, 1855

Marshal Cross was shot on December 14, 1855 by James McComb whom he was attempting to arrest for being under the influence of liquor and for refusing to leave a saloon. Marshal Cross passed away from his injuries on December 21, 1855. His killer was tried, convicted and hung for shooting death of Cross. While incarcerated McCombs attempted to escape, however his attempt failed. Officer William Thomas Cross was born November 04, 1826 in Petersburg, Va.


MAY 18, 1910

Officer Hilton T. Smith served as assistant jailer with the Columbia Police Department. As was the custom at the time, he and his family lived in a cottage on the grounds of the County Jail. On the night of May 17th a woman came to the cottage asking that her husband be arrested for beating her. Officer Smith therefore went with the woman to her home where he arrested the husband. As Officer Smith escorted his prisoner “John Rabb” to a call box to summon a patrol wagon when Rabb overpowered him, got control of his revolver and shot him. Officer Smith died of his wounds the following day. John Rabb was sentenced to life in prison, however, in January 1915 the governor reduced the sentence to 20 years.


AUGUST 17, 1921

Patrolman Henry Brown, 45, was at the intersection of First and Park Streets near the Seaboard Railroad pass when he stopped and confronted a twenty-five year old male for prowling around a field at 11:30 at night.

The subject attempted to flee and Ptl Brown grabbed the subject’s shoulder to stop him. The subject turned to face Ptl Brown and fired three .45 caliber bullets at him. One of the bullets struck Ptl Brown in the chest and he was killed instantly. His killer was never found or identified.


JUNE 25, 1934

Sergeant James Walter Hite had just finished reporting into police headquarters from call box 44 when he started to cross over the 2200 block of Main Street to where he had parked his police car. As he was crossing the street he was fatally struck by an automobile driven by Robert L. Edwards at 8:55 at night. He died at the Columbia Hospital of his injuries at 10:45 p.m. The death of Sergeant Hite was ruled a blameless accident and 18 year old Robert L. Edwards was not charged with any crime.


JULY 01, 1957

Officer Watford succumbed to three gunshot wounds to the head that was sustained the previous day when he was shot during a struggle with a suspect. He was investigating a family domestic in which Harrison Dubard attempted to throw hot water on his mother. The suspect was arrested after returning to the scene, however, a struggle ensued as Dubard was being arrested. He was able to get Officer Watford’s weapon from him and used that weapon to shoot and injure his brother and also shooting and killing Officer Watford. Dubard was given a life sentence for the slaying of Officer Watford.


JULY 25, 1974

Lieutenant Schlatterer was shot and killed while attempting to arrest two rape suspects at 0100 hours. As he approached the men one of them pulled out a sawed-off shotgun concealed in his pants and shot Lt Schlatterer in the chest, killing him instantly. Unbeknownst to Lt Schlatterer, the two suspects had also murdered three people in the preceding 24-hour period.

The suspects fled with Lt Schlatterer’s service weapon. The shooter was shot and killed later in the morning by other officers and the second suspect was apprehended with Lt Schlatterer’s service weapon.


JANUARY 27, 1981

Officer Dale Barkley was killed in a motorcycle accident while escorting a funeral procession.

His motorcycle was struck by a car as he entered an intersection in which another officer had already had blocked. Officer Barkley was thrown from his motorcycle and landed underneath a nearby parked car.

Several bystanders immediately went to his aid and lifted the parked car enough for him to be pulled from underneath it. He was transported to Richland Memorial Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries two days later.


NOVEMBER 07, 2015

Officer Stacy Case was killed in a vehicle crash at the intersection of College Street and Park Street. She was responding to a call involving a shots fired call when the collision occurred at approximately 10:30 pm. She was transported to Palmetto Richland Hospital where she succumbed to her injuries a short time later. Officer Case had served as a military police officer in the U.S. Army for 15 years and had served the Columbia Police Department for four years.


JULY 14, 2020

Master Police Officer (MPO) Robert J. “Bob” Hall, 57, died Tuesday, July 14 from complications due to COVID-19. A 35-year veteran with the department, Hall had received medical treatment at Prisma Health Baptist Hospital since July 5, 2020. He is the first Columbia Police Department officer to pass away from the coronavirus. Hall is survived by his wife of 37 years, two adult children and grandchildren.

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