End of Watch: The Death of Pensacola Police Sergeant Chip Shackleford

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February 27, 1933

From the book, Some Gave All, by Sgt. Mike Simmons, coming soon on Amazon.

Pensacola Police Sergeant William A. Shackleford:

End of Watch, February 27, 1933

Sgt. Chip Shackleford

William A. Shackleford, known as “Chip,” was born in the town of Stockton, Alabama. In 1913, he moved to Pensacola and joined the police force. He was promoted to Sergeant in 1929.

On Sunday evening, January 15, 1933, an elderly minister, Rev. W. L. Haygood was walking to church on East Wright Street when he was approached by a man who produced a knife and cut the old minister’s throat and fled.

Officers A. O. Godwin and Ollie Everett located the man about a block away. The man identified himself as W. E. Crittenden. When Godwin tried to arrest him, Crittenden produced a knife, but the veteran officer immediately disarmed him and took him into custody.

When Rev. Haygood identified him, they turned him over to Corporal Connors and Sgt. Shackleford, who were in the patrol wagon. Connors was driving and Shackleford was in the back with the suspect. While in route to the station, the suspect attacked Shackleford and repeatedly slammed his skull against the wagon, causing a severe cranial injury. Connors stopped the wagon, ran around and opened the rear door. Crittenden jumped on him and yelled, “My time has come. I’m going to kill all of you!” Connors and Shackleford both shot him. Crittenden said, “You got me.”

A week later, Rev. Haygood was released from the hospital and Crittenden was moved from the hospital to the city jail. Shackleford’s health declined.

On January 26, Crittenden appeared in court before Judge C. Moreno Jones and plead guilty. Judge Jones sentenced him to 10 years in prison. Two days later, despite his injuries, Sergeant Shackleford made a feeble attempt to show up to work with a hero’s welcome. It would be his last day.

On February 3, Crittenden came back before Judge Jones. His out-of-town friends vouched for his character and paid a fine of $150. Judge Jones set him free. He left immediately for Alabama.

On February 6, Shackleford was rushed to the hospital. His condition was so serious that surgery was not an option. On Monday, February 27, 1933, at 2:15 PM, Sergeant William Shackleford died from his injuries. Crittenden was never heard from again. Rest in peace, Sergeant.


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