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

On Thursday, December 30, 1926 around 7:00 p.m. U.S. Customs Inspectors John W. Parrott and Leon L. Gemoets were patrolling by car in the Upper Valley of El Paso County looking for smugglers. They signaled a truck with three men to stop a short distance from the Rio Grande River. The officers approached the truck with their flashlights to see what was in the truck. Inspector Gemoets 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. The suspects opened fire from inside the vehicle. Inspector Gemoets fell with a shot to the shoulder. The wounded inspector pulled two pistols and fired three shots from one and four shots from another. The driver, Victor Arriola, was wounded and fled the scene with Inspector Parrott in pursuit. Inspector Parrott returned shot through the stomach after having fired five rounds at the suspect. He staggered to the truck and handcuffed Franelsco Rodriguez to the seat. Alejandro Anaya was found dead in the truck with a shot through the head. County motorcycle officer N.I. Chamberlain arrived and had both officers taken to the hospital. Customs and Border Patrol agents pursued Arriola to Bowen, New Mexico, where he was arrested. Arriola was convicted of the murder of Parrott and sentenced to life in prison. It is unknown as to the disposition of charges on Rodriguez.

It was thought that Gemoets was the more seriously wounded, but Parrott had been sick with the flu and his immune system was in a weakened state. Parrott died in the hospital around 5:00 p.m. on Friday, January 7, 1927. He was 49 years old and had been employed as a Customs Inspector for only 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

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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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