Deputy James W. Wood: the First Ouachita Parish Law Officer Killed in the Line of Duty.

A few years ago, I came across this article.  I found the Officer Down Memorial Page on the internet and noticed his name was not there.  After getting in touch with the website and verifying his information, Deputy Wood was added to the page.  That next year, his name was added to the Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington.

The Ouachita Telegraph, Wednesday, March 17, 1869, Page 3, Column 1               APPALLING MURDER AND SUICIDE. — On Friday last about noon occurred, in the western portion of Ouachita parish, one of the most brutal murders and suicides on record.

Mr. James W. Wood, Deputy Sheriff, was sent on Friday morning with a warrant to arrest two brothers, Jack and Franklin Rogers, charged upon the affidavit of Huey Dickerson, with attempting to shoot and kill said Dickerson, Franklin Rogers being implicated as accessory.  Mr. Wood proceeded to the house of Franklin Rogers, and the latter came to the gate to ascertain his business, having his gun in his hands at the time.  While reading the warrant, both barrels of the gun were suddenly discharged by Franklin Rogers at Mr. Wood, the charges mutilating the left arm and hand and penetrating the breast.  Immediately after discharging the gun, Rogers proceeded along the road about one hundred and fifty yards, and cut his own throat with his pocket knife.  A neighbor came along shortly after and found Rogers lying dead by the road side with the knife firmly clutched in his hand.  Wood after receiving the wound, proceeded to Rogers’ house, lay down upon the bed, and calling for water and assistance, expired in about half an hour.

Rogers has heretofore borne the character of a quiet, peaceable citizen.  But after the difficulty which was the cause of his arrest, he seemed greatly excited, and his wife reports, threatened to poison himself.  She became so alarmed, at his threats of self-destruction and particularly after his asking her to give him some strychnine, that she hid that poison, his ammunition and other means of injury, but entirely forgot the loaded gun with which he perpetrated the deed.  The victim and the slayer lay side by side in the same room dead.  Those best acquainted with Rogers believe that the act was prompted by insanity.  The body of Mr. Wood was buried at Monroe on Sunday last.

Mr. Wood was quite a young man, well thought of by his acquaintances and friends, and had been acting as Deputy Sheriff only about two weeks, when this fearful tragedy closed his career.

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