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Lieutenant T. L. Fuller | Texas Rangers, Texas Texas Rangers, Texas


T. L. Fuller

Texas Rangers, Texas

End of Watch: Monday, October 15, 1900

Bio & Incident Details

Age: Not available

Tour: Not available

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Rifle; Winchester

Offender: Shot and killed years later

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Texas Rangers had been sent to Orange to quell what was described as riotous disturbances. Ranger Fuller arrested a man causing trouble and was trying to get him to jail on December 21, 1899, when he was jumped by another man. Either the prisoner, Denny Moore, was part of the gang, or Fuller’s attacker just hated any authority; whatever the reason the Ranger was attacked with a knife and had to shoot his assailant in self-defense. The slain man was identified as Oscar Poole, one of the gang leaders. Poole was a son of Orange County Judge George F. Poole. Ranger Fuller was arrested and jailed without bail; however, he was cleared in the shooting. The Poole family filed a complaint of false arrest in Orange County against Ranger Fuller over the death of Oscar Poole. Ranger Captain Bill McDonald protested that the charge was nothing more than a ploy to get the Fuller back in Orange, but he was overruled by superiors acutely concerned with maintaining good will.

Captain McDonald and Private A. L. Saxon were in Orange as witnesses in a case involving newly promoted Lieutenant Fuller. During a break in the trial, Fuller and Saxon decided to get a shave. At 5:30 p.m. Fuller was standing in Adams’ barber shop washing his face at a basin in the center of the room when the shot was fired. The ball from a Winchester struck him in the back of the head and exited through his eye. Fuller fell to the floor and expired in a few minutes. Ranger Saxon was in the chair being shaved at the time and there was no one else in the shop but Barber Adams. Immediately after the shooting Tom Poole ran into an adjoining butcher shop with a Winchester rifle in his hand and was placed under arrest. Poole was a brother of Oscar Poole.

Thomas Poole was tried for the murder of Ranger Fuller and was acquitted on May 4, 1901. In March 1902, Orange City Marshal James A. Jett shot and killed Tom Poole. On May 12, 1902, City Marshal James A. Jett became engaged in a personal dispute with George H. Poole. George, Claude and Grover Poole shot and killed the city marshal in a downtown gun battle.

Very little is currently known about T. L. Fuller’s personal history. His first name may have been Lawrence. His remains were shipped to Fulshear in Brazoria County, but no grave has been located. Fuller was the last member of the Frontier Battalion of the Texas Rangers to be killed in the line of duty. In 1901, the Texas Legislature abolished the Frontier Battalion and established the Texas Rangers as a state police force.

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no matter the circumstances,theviolent death of a law enforcement officer is regretable.

retired l.a.p.d. plm.steephen j. poole
grandson of grover.c.poole
August 3, 2016


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