Deputy Sheriff Max W. Smith

Photo of Deputy Sheriff Max W. Smith
End of Watch: Wed, Feb 28th, 1934
Date of Incident: Not Known
Cause of Death: Gunfire (Intentional)
Service Time: Not Known
Age: 51


Deputy Smith was survived by his three brothers and one sister.


Deputy Max Smith was shot twice with a 12-gauge double-barrel shotgun when he tried to arrest an ex-convict on a warrant for using a gun to threaten a relative earlier in the day.

The man Deputy Smith was trying to arrest asked to go to another room of his home to put some oil in a stove. When Deputy Smith went to check on him, the man had the shotgun. Deputy Smith, who was known to never carry a gun in performance of his duties, was shot from behind once as he turned to get into his car. He staggered into a ditch, where he fell. As he got up, the suspect, who was standing on his porch, shot him in the back.

When the suspect told a witness to the shooting to accompany him away from the scene, the witness was able to get away on the pretext of needing to get his own car and some clothing. The witness then went into town and notified the sheriff, who arrested the suspect. The suspect surrendered when he saw that the sheriff was holding an automatic shotgun under his arm.

Deputy Smith was taken to a nearby hospital, where he died about two hours after the shooting.

The suspect was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison.

Information obtained from the Officer Down Memorial Page.


Moniteau County Sheriff's Department Patch
102 E North Street
California, Missouri 65018
(573) 796-2525
Sheriff Jeptha Gump


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