Police Memorials

Medal of HonorJoseph W. SykesNorfolk County Sheriff's Department Patch

Norfolk County Sheriff's Department
Killed in the Line of Duty: August 29, 1909

Deputy Joseph Sykes was shot and killed on Old County Road, in the City of South Norfolk, as he and two special officers attempted to question three suspicious men they observed on the road. When the three men realized they had been seen by the officers they split up and began walking in separate directions. As one of the officers began chasing one of the suspects they exchanged shots. Deputy Sykes and the other officer took the remaining two suspects into custody at gunpoint. One of the two suddenly stepped behind the other, drew a gun, and opened fire. Deputy Sykes was struck once in the neck and once in the leg. Both suspects then fled the scene. Deputy Sykes was taken to St. Vincent's Hospital, in Norfolk City, where he died the following evening. All three suspects were apprehended within three weeks. The suspect who shot Deputy Sykes was sentenced to death and executed at the Virginia State Penitentiary on June 10, 1910.

Deputy Sheriff Sykes was survived by his wife and two children and was killed in the line of duty on August 29, 1909, while in the performance of his fundamental duties of serving mankind, safeguarding lives and property.