Deputy Constable Elijah Pevito

Deputy Constable Elijah Pevito

Jefferson County Constable's Office - Precinct 1, Texas

End of Watch Sunday, December 17, 1905

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Elijah Pevito

Walter (also referred to as Henry) Powell, about 19 years of age, was noticed walking along the street car tracks in Beaumont with a pistol in each hand. Motorman Bryon Merritt, who still held his commission as a Beaumont police officer, brought his street car to a stop just in front of Powell. Stepping to the right side of the vestibule, he ordered Powell to consider himself under arrest. Powell spoke to Merritt, and asked him if he had a gun, and on Merritt answering in the negative, Powell immediately raised one of his revolvers and fired at close range at Merritt, striking him in the chest. Merritt ran probably twenty steps after being shot and fell face downward at the side of the track and died.

Powell proceeded to nearby house and told the resident to take his wife and child and flee because he intended to kill the officers coming after him and die with them. Deputy Constable Elijah Pevito, Deputy Sheriff Reed Tevis, Beaumont Policemen John Sheffield and Nott Smith arrived, and at once proceeded to surround the house. Deputy Constable Pevito approached the house in front while the other officers took up positions one on each side and the rear of the building. Suddenly a shot rang out, and Deputy Constable Pevito was seen staggering backward near the fence and finally fell. His heart was penetrated and death resulted almost instantly.

Deputy Sheriff Tevis remained at the rear of the building, and Powell was ordered to come out. Powell came out with two revolvers still clashed in his hands. Deputy Sheriff Tevis ordered him to drop the guns, whereupon the murderer made a move to shoot when the deputy sheriff raised a Winchester and fired one shot which struck Powell in the temple, penetrating his head, and killing him instantly. As Powell fell, one of his revolvers was discharged, but the bullet went up in the air.

Elisha Pevito came to Beaumont from Orange four or five years earlier. He had served on the Beaumont police force and also as a Jefferson County deputy sheriff, being a peace officer almost the entire time of his residence in Jefferson County. He was appointed a deputy constable in Precinct 1 a few months before he was killed. He was survived by a wife and four children, besides his brothers and sisters. He was buried in the Magnolia Cemetery in Beaumont.


  • Age 35
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender killed by another officer

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