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Patrol Inspector Earl A. Roberts | United States Department of Labor - Immigration Service - United States Border Patrol, U.S. Government United States Department of Labor - Immigration Service - United States Border Patrol, U.S. Government

Patrol Inspector

Earl A. Roberts

United States Department of Labor - Immigration Service - United States Border Patrol, U.S. Government

End of Watch: Sunday, March 24, 1929

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 34

Tour: 2 months

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Location: Michigan

Incident Date: 3/23/1929

Weapon: Handgun; .45 caliber

Offender: Apprehended

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Patrol Inspector Earl Roberts was shot and killed while he and Patrol Inspector Stanley H. Graham attempted to apprehend two suspected liquor smugglers on the St. Clair River in Algonac, Michigan. The two had observed a motorboat towing a rowboat approaching from Canada and the officers proceeded along the shore following the course of the boat in an attempt to intercept the boat when it reached the shore. The officers split up to converge on a landing point on the shore.

When the boat arrived Inspector Roberts stepped aboard the stern of the boat and identified himself as a federal officer and Patrol Inspector Graham, who was still on the shore, shined a light on the suspects. One of the suspects stood in the center of the boat aiming a gun at Inspector Roberts, and then he opened fire, fatally wounding Inspector Roberts who succumbed to his wounds the following day. The suspect then turned to fire at Patrol Inspector Graham who returned fire but neither party was hit.

The shooter attempted to flee but was later apprehended. The second suspect jumped into the rowboat to flee but was also apprehended and later testified against the shooter.

Inspector Roberts had served with the United States Border Patrol for only two months. He was survived by his wife and two sons.

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You are honored today Sir, RIP

James Kotke
Civilian / Former Officer
WSF Park Police (Wi.)
March 24, 2012

 

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