Detective John Reifel

Detective John Reifel

Galveston Police Department, Texas

End of Watch Saturday, June 5, 1948

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John Reifel

Detective John Reifel succumbed to gunshot wounds he received while questioning a homicide suspect on 26th Street near L Street in Galveston.

The subject had robbed a liquor store and shot and killed the store clerk on the night of June 1st. In the early morning of June 2nd, Detective Reifel and his partner located the man and began questioning him when the man suddenly produced a gun and shot them both. Another responding officer was able to shoot the suspect with a non-life-threatening wound and apprehend him.

Detective Reifel was shot in the arm and stomach and succumbed to his wounds three days later. The other detective survived his wound.

The subject was convicted for the murder of the clerk and executed in 1952.

Detective Reifel had served with the Galveston Police Department for eight years. He was survived by his wife and three children.


  • Age 44
  • Tour 8 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Wednesday, June 2, 1948
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Executed

homicide investigation, convicted felon

Most Recent Reflection

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Det. Reifel,
On today, the 75th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Galveston. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

June 5, 2023

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