On May 19, 2001 Bulloch County Sheriff’s Deputy Sargent Wilbur Berry was killed in the line of duty. Berry was shot during a struggle between him, other officers and a burglary suspect.
Every year, the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office holds a memorial ceremony, hanging a wreath next to a plaque that has a permanent place on the lobby wall. This years services was held outside of the Bulloch County Sheriff’s office on Wednesday, May 19, 2021.
However, this year is more special, as it marks the 20th anniversary of Sgt. Berry’s death. Area law enforcement agencies, members of Berry’s family and citizens came together this morning to remember Sgt. Berry. The memorial service also serves as a reminder regarding the dangers law enforcement face daily in our community.
Here is a livestream of the full ceremony:
Sgt. Berry Killed in the Line of Duty
Sgt. Berry was killed May 19, 2001, when he and other deputies were investigating a reportedly stolen truck and a burglary case that was believed to be connected.
Deputies located a sucpect hiding inside the home on Simmons road and a struggle began. The suspect then grabbed one of the officers guns. He fired the gun several times, killing Sgt. Berry and wounding Deputy Bill Black, who is not Bulloch Sherriff’s chief deputy.
When the deputies located a suspect hiding inside a house, a struggle ensued and the suspect grabbed one of the deputies’ guns. He fired several times, fatally wounding Berry and injuring Bill Black, who is now the Bulloch County Sheriff’s chief deputy. Black suffered shots to his shoulder and arm.
In 2018 Bulloch County officials named Westside Road as the Wilbur Berry Memorial Highway. This is the road Berry traveled daily to work from his home in Candler county.
“Wilbur didn’t come to work to lock people up,” said Noel Brown, Bulloch County Sherriff. “He came to work to try to help people. He always would try to talk to them and help get them in the right direction.”