Chief Deputy Rufus Dunnahoo

Chief Deputy Rufus Dunnahoo

Chaves County Sheriff's Department, New Mexico

End of Watch Sunday, August 2, 1931

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Rufus Dunnahoo

Chief Deputy Rufus Dunnahoo was shot and killed while investigating the theft of car parts.

Chief Deputy Dunnahoo, accompanied by the sheriff and a deputy, were searching a house near Dexter when a male produced a .380 caliber handgun.

As the chief and the sheriff struggled to disarm the male, the male fired a shot, striking Chief Deputy Dunnahoo in the neck.

The suspect was apprehended after a short foot chase. He was initially convicted of murdering Chief Deputy Dunnahoo and sentenced from 40 to 90 years in prison. He won a second trial on appeal and was sentenced to only 5 years for manslaughter.

Chief Deputy Dunnahoo had served with the Chaves County Sheriff's Department for 20 years. He was survived by his wife and two children.


  • Age 51
  • Tour 20 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .380 caliber
  • Offender Sentenced to 5 years

Most Recent Reflection

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Chief Deputy Dunnahoo,
On today, the 85th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Chaves County.


United States Border Patrol

August 2, 2016

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