James Melvin Compton Jr.
Indianapolis Police Department
Tuesday, March 16, 1976

Age: 29
Served: 2 years, 1 month
Badge #: 2559
Panel 63W, Line 11
Panel L18, Line 6

Incident Details

Cause of Death:
Date/Time of Incident:
Tuesday, March 16, 1976
10:00 pm
Incident to Death Duration:
Same day
Incident Location:
2145 Gent Avenue, Indianapolis
Incident County:
Incident Township:
Weapon Used:
.38-caliber handgun
Suspect Disposition:
• Killed by police
• Charged
• Charged
Burial Place:
New Crown Cemetery, Indianapolis

Share this Memorial

   Detective James Compton was shot and killed while attempting to serve a warrant on a man suspected of selling marijuana to students at Crispus Attucks High School.

   He and three other detectives went to the man's home to serve the narcotics warrant. When Detective Compton knocked on the door and identified himself the suspect fired from inside the home, striking him in the head and chest.

   He was able to crawl across the front yard where he collapsed before being transported to Wishard Memorial Hospital and died approximately two hours later.

   The other detectives returned fire at the 18-year-old suspect, fatally wounding him.

   Another 18-year-old male was charged as an accesory to murder, resisting and fleeing law enforcement. A 15-year-old male was charged with visiting a common nuisance and fleeing law enforcement.

   Detective Compton had served for only six weeks and had previously served as a police officer in Kansas for two years. He was survived by his wife, 6- and 11-year-old daughters and a 5-year-old son.

Military Service

United States Navy
Vietnam War

Purple Heart Medal

The responsibilities of the Indianapolis Police Department (1854–2006) are now under the jurisdiction of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.

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