Deputy Constable Leslie Eugene "Red" Shaw

Deputy Constable Leslie Eugene "Red" Shaw

Willacy County Constable's Office - Precinct 1, Texas

End of Watch Sunday, September 5, 1926

Leslie Eugene "Red" Shaw

Deputy Sheriff Louis “Slim” May, Deputy Constable Leslie Eugene “Bill” Shaw, and four other lawmen were detailed to keep peace around Mexican dances. Between 2:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m. on Sunday morning, a shot was fired near where one of the dances had been. The six lawmen split up and went to investigate the shooting. They had not gone very far when one lawman told Mays and Shaw he saw a gun pointed them. Soon after the shooting started, Deputy Constable Shaw was shot between the eyes and died instantly. Deputy Sheriff May was shot in the heart and died. The other lawman was slightly wounded in the stomach.

Local officers theorized that the first shots were fired in order to lure the officers to their death for retaliation for previous arrest the officers had made. Sheriff Teller and his deputies rounded up 20-24 persons who were in and around the area and placed them in jail for questioning.

On Tuesday, September 7, the father of Jose Nuñez, (one of the suspects in the shooting) was allowed to talk with his son at the jail. Shortly afterwards, the father told the sheriff his son confessed and would assist in locating the weapons that were used to kill Mays and Shaw.

Later that afternoon, five deputies took Jose and Delancio Nuñez, Cinco Gonzalez, Matt Zaller, and Tomas Nuñez from the jail to a brushy area eight miles west of Raymondville, where Jose Nunez pointed out to the deputies where they would find the weapons. The deputies and prisoners entered into the brush, where the deputies alleged they were met with gunfire. The deputies allegedly ducked and return fire, killing all five prisoners in the crossfire.

The Nuñez Family made claims to the Mexican Consul General, that the body of Tomas Nuñez had been beheaded. The governor ordered the Texas Rangers to investigate the shooting of the prisoners at the request of the U.S. State Department. The beheading rumors later turned out to be false.

The Mexican Consul General also accused Sheriff Teller of letting a mob into the jail and taking the five prisoners out and shooting them. Later, a Willacy County Grand Jury investigated the case and indicted Sheriff Teller and others with the murders. The sheriff was tried in 1927 as an accessory to the murders and was acquitted.

The true motive for the death of two lawmen will never be known.

Leslie Eugene “Bill” Shaw was 31 years old at the time of his death. He had been a deputy constable only two months. He was buried in Raymondville in Willacy County in close proximity to Deputy Sheriff Louis Mays. He was survived by his wife, Etta LaGrande, and two daughters, Lali Lucienne and Rose June. His wife was expecting a child who was born on December 21, 1926. The boy, L. E. Shaw, died a few days later.

Bio

  • Age 31
  • Tour 2 months
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Unknown weapon
  • Offender five suspects killed

Most Recent Reflection

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Rest in Peace Pct. 1 Deputy Constable Leslie Eugene (Red) Shaw. Thank You for your Service and Sacrifice protecting the citizens of Willacy County and The Great State of Texas.

I Pray for Peace for your Family, Friends and those brave souls who have chosen to follow in your footsteps. I also Pray that the scum that murdered you burns forever in the lake of fire!

Amen.

Senior Special Agent Barry Sherwood Ret.
Port Terminal Railroad Police Houston, TX

September 23, 2016

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