Seminole County Deputy Sheriffs killed in the Line of Duty
Deputy Sheriff Matt Miller
End of Watch December 26, 2011
A 28-year law enforcement veteran, Deputy Sheriff Matt Miller served for five years with the Longwood Police Department before joining the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office in 1988. In 1992, he was one of the first deputies assigned to the agency’s newly-created motor unit, and he would go on to spend much of his career assigned there. On the afternoon of Dec. 26, 2011, Deputy Sheriff Miller was conducting traffic enforcement when a vehicle made a left hand turn in front him, colliding with his motorcycle and fatally injuring him.
A former member of the U.S. Marine Corps and a skilled law enforcement officer, Deputy Sheriff Miller was highly regarded within the agency and the community. He was 53 years old and was survived by his wife.
Deputy Sheriff Eugene Gregory
End of Watch July 8, 1998
Deputy Sheriff Eugene Gregory lost his life in the line of duty on July 8, 1998 after being mortally wounded while handling an aggravated assault call involving an armed, mentally ill person.
Deputy Sheriff Gregory exemplified the spirit of community policing in his day-to-day service and his death served as the inspiration for the community and the Sheriff's Office to take a proactive role in mental health intervention and treatment that continues to this day.
Deputy Sheriff Hugh E. Thomas Jr.
End of Watch March 28, 1989
At 24 years of age, Deputy Sheriff Thomas made the ultimate sacrifice after being shot and killed while responding to a domestic related prowler call in Geneva. When he arrived, he was shot by the suspect with a semi-automatic rifle. The suspect then committed suicide. The suspect had recently been released from jail and was stalking his girlfriend.
Deputy Sheriff Thomas is considered to be a pioneer in neighborhood policing. He was ahead of his time in that he embraced the philosophy of community policing in his day-to-day service, before the concept had the label we’ve given it today. Deputy Sheriff Thomas is memorialized in Seminole County by having the H.E.Thomas Jr. Pkwy., named in his honor.
Deputy Sheriff George Pfiel
End of Watch December 29, 1977
Deputy Sheriff Pfiel made the ultimate sacrifice after being mortally wounded when he interrupted an armed robbery at the Longwood Village Pharmacy. Deputy Sheriff Pfeil, having just completed a special detail, was in uniform and entered the pharmacy to get a prescription filled when the incident occurred.
One of the suspects was sentenced to death and executed in 2000, two other suspects were subsequently murdered and the fourth suspect was sentenced to prison.
Deputy Sheriff Pfeil was a retired New York City police officer who served as a reserve deputy sheriff after moving to Florida.
Deputy Sheriff Robert O. Moore
End of Watch June 9, 1975
Deputy Sheriff Moore made the ultimate sacrifice when he succumbed to smoke inhalation and intense heat exposure while rescuing inmates during the Seminole County Jail fire on June 9, 1975.
Deputy Sheriff Moore had successfully brought several inmates to safety before heroically re-entering the burning jail his final time, in yet another attempt to save other trapped inmates. Eleven people, ten inmates and Deputy Sheriff Moore, perished in this fire, which was later learned to be intentionally set by an inmate.
Deputy Sheriff James Cleveland Jacobs
End of Watch September 14, 1922
Deputy Sheriff James Cleveland Jacobs was shot and killed while attempting to arrest a man for stealing a pair of pants. Deputy Sheriff Jacobs located the man at a nearby home and went to the front door. As he stood at the front door, the suspect opened fire with a shotgun, striking Deputy Sheriff Jacobs in the chest. Though mortally wounded, Deputy Sheriff Jacobs still managed to fire two shots at his assailant. Deputy Sheriff Jacobs was transported to the hospital where he tragically succumbed to his wounds.
The suspect was arrested, tried, and convicted in the murder of Deputy Sheriff Jacobs. He was sentenced to death and later hanged on March 30, 1923.