J. B. Hamby, Chief
Catoosa Police Department
Shortly after 8 A.M. on Friday, September 1, 1978, Chief Hamby responded to an armed robbery in progress call at the Catoosa Tag Agency on the corner of Highway 66 and Pine Street. Chief Hamby parked his unit out front then ran to the front door of the agency with his .357 Magnum revolver in hand. As Chief Hamby entered the business he became involved in a close range gun-battle with two armed men, Jackie Ray Young, 29, and David Gordon Smith, 25. The two robbers were in the process of tying up the employees and customers when the Chief surprised them. Chief Hamby made his six shots count as he shot Young in the temple and leg, killing him instantly, and shooting Smith in his hand, leg and groin. Chief Hamby was wounded under his right arm and in a leg. The Chief then stumbled back out the front door and next door to a Laundromat where he collapsed and died trying to reload his gun. Smith was able to get to his car and drive off but was arrested later in the day when he went to the hospital for treatment of his wounds. Smith was convicted of the Chief’s murder and sentenced to life in prison. Chief Hamby was divorced and survived by his two teenage sons James Ray and Mark Wayne.