Bio & Incident Details
Tour: 16 years
Badge # Not available
Incident Date: 10/27/1988
Weapon: Handgun; .38 caliber
Suspect: Died on death row
Agent David DeLitta was shot and killed as he and a co-worker were being robbed when they arrived at a restaurant on Gulf Freeway in Houston, Texas. The two agents had just served a subpoena and were meeting other agents for dinner.
As the two agents walked into the restaurant, they were confronted by an armed suspect who demanded the agents place their wallets on the hood of their car. Agent DeLitta attempted to retrieve his duty weapon from his ankle holster as the suspect began shooting. The suspect's last round penetrated his arm and entered his abdomen. He was transported to a local hospital where he remained in surgery for approximately 30 hours before succumbing to the wound.
The suspect fled the scene but turned himself in through a local television station one month later. He was convicted of state charges of capital murder and on federal charges of murdering a federal agent. He was sentenced to death. After the suspect had been taken into custody, the gun used to murder Agent DeLitta was used in another murder.
Agent DeLitta had served in law enforcement for 16 years. He was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran of the Vietnam War. His law enforcement career included clerking for the FBI, as an officer for the Tampa Police Department and the Greeley Police Department, and as a DEA undercover special agent. He had only been with the EPA for 4 months when he was murdered. He is survived by his wife, son, daughter, parents, brother, and sister.