Sheriff Santiago A. Brito

Sheriff Santiago A. Brito

Cameron County Sheriff's Office, Texas

End of Watch Sunday, August 21, 1892

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Santiago A. Brito

Sheriff Santiago A. Brito was assassinated at approximately 2:30 a.m. on August 21, 1892. Sheriff Brito and two of his sons were returning from a baile (dance). The sheriff and his sons had been at the dance, located in eastern outskirts of Brownsville. As his open horse-drawn coach approached the Thirteenth Street crossing of the “Town Resaca,” the assassin stepped behind the coach and fired two bullets into the back of Sheriff Brito’s head.

Despite large rewards offered for information relative to the crime, his murderer was never caught. Rumors at the time reported Sheriff Brito’s murder was the result of a long standing grudge.

Brito was first elected sheriff on November 2, 1880 and served until November 4, 1890 when he was defeated in a hotly contested election by Matthew L. Browne. Brito was then appointed Brownsville City Marshal on December 1, 1890. When Sheriff Browne accidentally shot and killed himself on April 12, 1892, the Cameron County Commissioners' Court appointed Brito as sheriff to fill the unexpired term of Browne.

Before being elected sheriff, he was the owner of El Democrata, a Spanish-language newspaper in Brownsville, Texas. He was probably born in the Rio Grande Valley. Brito was married and was the father of 5 children.


  • Age Not available
  • Tour 12 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Never apprehended

Most Recent Reflection

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Your assailant(s) surely faced a higher authority and justice at some point in a very different place. Rest in peace knowing that no passage of time will ever erase your service and sacrifice.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

August 21, 2020

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