Game Warden Elijah Roberts

Game Warden Elijah Roberts

Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, Kentucky

End of Watch Saturday, September 14, 1918

Elijah Roberts

Game Warden Elijah Roberts was shot and killed from ambush in Breathitt County by two suspects who were seeking revenge against him. He and another game warden were returning from a multi-day investigation in Hazard and were approaching Warden Roberts' home when the two suspects opened fire from a nearby cliff, hidden in a cluster of bushes.

Warden Roberts was struck in the chest by the first shot and was then shot four more times after falling to the ground. The other game warden found shelter in a nearby cornfield.

The two suspects approached Warden Roberts' body and then robbed it of his wallet, pistol, and shoes. The two men were scared away when Warden Roberts' 9-year-old son ran up to the scene and discovered the men.

It is believed that the two suspects had learned that Warden Roberts would be returning to the area and had laid in wait overnight to ambush him. Warden Roberts was targeted because of his efforts to arrest game violators and moonshiners in Breathitt County.

Warden Roberts had served as the game warden for Breathitt County and surrounding areas for over 3 years. He was survived by his wife, four children, and parents.


  • Age 47
  • Tour 3 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle; Winchester
  • Offender Not available

Most Recent Reflection

View all 12 Reflections

I am just finding out about your story.My Grandfather was your grandson, James C. Banks, Mattie Roberts is his mother and your daughter. I am honored to be in such a strong and fearless family. We know so little about family history but I am digging and finding out the stories for my children. You may be gone but your legacy still lives on. From your great-great grandson.

Troy Shepherd
Great great garndson

June 1, 2016

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