Inspector John W. Parrott

Inspector John W. Parrott

United States Department of the Treasury - United States Customs Service, U.S. Government

End of Watch Friday, January 7, 1927

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John W. Parrott

Inspector John Parrott succumbed to gunshot wounds sustained on December 30th, 1926, when he was shot during a traffic stop in the Upper Valley area of El Paso County, Texas.

He and his partner were patrolling the area looking for smugglers. They signaled a truck with three men to stop a short distance from the Rio Grande River and approached it with their flashlights to see what was in it. Inspector Parrott's partner opened a tool box on the side of the car but found no contraband. He saw a bag of bottles on the back seat and reached into the car to retrieve it. As he did so the subject opened fire from inside the vehicle and shot him in the shoulder.

The wounded inspector pulled two pistols and fired three shots from one and four shots from the other. The driver was wounded and fled the scene with Inspector Parrott in pursuit. Inspector Parrott returned to the scene suffering a gunshot wound to stomach after having fired five rounds at the suspect. He staggered to the truck and handcuffed one of the men to the seat. A second subject was dead in the truck with a shot through the head.

An El Paso County motorcycle officer arrived and had both officers taken to the hospital. Customs Service inspectors and Border Patrol agents pursued the outstanding subject to Bowen, New Mexico, where he was arrested. The man was convicted of the murder of Parrott and sentenced to life in prison. It is unknown as to the disposition of charges on the other subject.

It was initially thought that Inspector Parrott's partner was the more seriously wounded, but Inspector Parrott had been sick with the flu and his immune system was in a weakened state. He died in the hospital around 5:00 p.m. on January 7th, 1927. He had only served with the United States Customs Service for a few weeks. He was survived by his wife and four children. He was buried in the Masonic Section of Concordia Cemetery in El Paso, Texas.


  • Age 49
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Location Texas
  • Incident Date Thursday, December 30, 1926
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Not available

traffic stop

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RIP John W. Parrot. Your family has not forgotten you.

EP Fallen Officers Memorial Foundation

March 26, 2019

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