Sergeant Delbert Timberlake

Sergeant Delbert Timberlake

Texas Rangers, Texas

End of Watch Friday, October 11, 1918

Delbert Timberlake

Sergeant Timberlake was shot and killed as he and several other lawman attempted to arrest a well known smuggler who was believed to have murdered Private Joe Shaw, also of the Texas Rangers, four months earlier.

The rangers, deputies, and Customs inspectors had setup an ambush for the suspect on a path at Tomate Bend on the Rio Grande River in Brownsville, Texas. When the officers observed a man on the path, they ordered him to surrender. The suspect spun around and immediately opened fire, and struck Sergeant Timberlake. The other lawmen returned fire, hit the suspect five times, and killed him.

Sergeant Timberlake was rushed to a hospital in Brownsville where he died the following morning.

Sergeant Timberlake had served in law enforcement for 6 years. During the time, he had served as a deputy sheriff for Galveston County, marshal of Del Rio, policeman in Laredo, and as a ranger for Company A, Company F, and Company I. He was assigned to Company I at the time of his murder. He was survived by his father.


  • Age 34
  • Tour 6 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Thursday, October 10, 1918
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Shot and killed

Most Recent Reflection

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Sgt. Timberlake,
On today, the 100th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of the state of Texas.


United States Border Patrol

October 11, 2018

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