Ranger Carlos Tafolla

Ranger Carlos Tafolla

Arizona Rangers, Arizona

End of Watch Monday, October 7, 1901

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Carlos Tafolla

Ranger Carlos Tafolla was shot and killed during a shootout in the White Mountains. He was riding with a posse that was tracking the Bill Smith Gang. Ranger Tafolla and Deputy Bill Maxwell, of the Apache County Sheriff's Office, were approaching the gang when one of the gang asked how they should surrender. As the suspect was approaching them he was dragging his rifle behind him and brought it up and shot Deputy Maxwell in the head, killing him instantly. Ranger Tafolla was shot twice in the torso and died that night about midnight. The suspect fled to Argentina and was never apprehended.

As Ranger Tafolla was dying, he pulled out a silver dollar and asked that it be given to his wife as it and his unpaid wages would be all that she would get. A two-year pension was later approved for her when the story was told.

Ranger Tafolla was survived by his wife and three children. He had been an Arizona Ranger for only a month and a half and is buried in Saint Johns Catholic Cemetery, Saint Johns, Apache County, Arizona.


  • Age 36
  • Tour 1 month, 2 weeks
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle; .303 caliber
  • Offender Fled the country

Most Recent Reflection

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Ranger Tafolla, you will not be forgotten. Thank you for wearing the Ranger Star.
Sincerely, Jerry W. Leonard, formerly Badge no. 19, Huachuca Company - Arizona Rangers

Special Agent-in-Charge [Retired] Jerry
Department of Defense

April 21, 2019

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