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Deputy Sheriff Wayne B. Parks | Mitchell County Sheriff's Office, Texas Mitchell County Sheriff's Office, Texas

Deputy Sheriff

Wayne B. Parks

Mitchell County Sheriff's Office, Texas

End of Watch: Thursday, October 29, 1885

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 32

Tour: 3 years

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Shotgun; 12 gauge

Offender: Never apprehended

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In October 1885, brothers Ike and Joe Adair had too much to drink and raised a disturbance in the gambling room in the back of Page and Charlie’s Saloon. Deputy Parks heard the noise and went in to investigate. He walked up to Ike who was yelling and threatened to arrest him if he did not keep quiet. Ike drew his pistol on Parks who grabbed his arm to try to make him drop his gun. While they were struggling over the pistol, Joe opened his long pocket knife and came up behind Parks. Joe Adair slashed around Parks’ head with it. Parks drew his pistol and shot over his shoulder while at the same time he was trying to keep Ike from shooting him. The bullet passed through Joe’s heart, killing him instantly. City Marshal Jim Woods came into the gambling room about that time and Parks told him to take Ike’s gun as he did not want to hurt him. The father of the Adair’s was a local cattleman. As was the custom of the time, Deputy Parks was charged with murder. Parks was awaiting trial at the time of his death.

On Wednesday, October 28, 1885, Parks had accompanied a young woman to a ball in Colorado City. They left the ball around midnight and he escorted her home. Around 1:00 a.m. he was starting to cross a vacant block he was fired on from ambush. He was found dead by neighbors who heard the shot and moaning from the mortally injured deputy. He had been hit by 10 of the buckshot from a shotgun with three balls entering the neck and breaking the bone. The killer had obviously been lying in wait for the deputy because of the many foot imprints near a fence and under a tree. Tracks were found where one man appeared to have waited with two horses while one man walked to the hiding place.

Parks had been a deputy sheriff for three years under Sheriff R. C. “Dick” Ware. He was reported to have been a popular officer. He was reported to have been a Texas Ranger prior to joining the sheriff's office.

Parks’ body was sent to Meridian in Bosque County where he was buried in the city cemetery. He apparently was single and did not have any children. The newspaper reported that Parks’ family had been trying to induce him to return to Bosque County because they feared he would meet a violent death should he remain in Colorado City.

A Grand Jury investigated the case and many witnesses were examined, but no one was ever indicted and no evidence was disclosed that identified the assassin of Deputy Sheriff Wayne B. Parks.

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Your heroism and service is honored today, the 124th anniversary of your death. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service. My cherished son Larry Lasater was a fellow police officer murdered in the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

Your memorial page had a lot of facts about you and your murder, more than you normally see on deaths so long ago.
You seemed to be very well-repected and I am sorry you were robbed of your life at such a young age.
Rest In Peace

Phyllis Loya

Anonymous
October 29, 2009

 

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