Game Warden Elijah Roberts

Game Warden Elijah Roberts

Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, Kentucky

End of Watch Saturday, September 14, 1918

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Elijah Roberts

Game Warden Elijah Roberts was shot and killed from ambush in Whick, Breathitt County, by two suspects who were seeking revenge against him. He and another game warden were returning from a multi-day investigation in Hazard and had returned to Whick via train.

They were walking from the depot to Warden Roberts' home one-half mile away when the two suspects opened fire from a nearby cliff, hidden in a cluster of bushes. Game Warden Roberts was struck in the chest by the first shot and was then shot four more times after falling to the ground. The other game warden found shelter in a nearby cornfield.

The two suspects approached Warden Roberts' body and then robbed it of his wallet, pistol, and shoes. The two men were scared away when Warden Roberts' 9-year-old son ran up to the scene and discovered the men.

It is believed that the two suspects had learned that Warden Roberts would be returning to the area and had laid in wait overnight to ambush him. Warden Roberts was targeted because of his efforts to arrest game violators and moonshiners in Breathitt County.

Warden Roberts had served as the game warden for Breathitt County and surrounding areas for over three years. He was survived by his wife, four children, and parents.


  • Age 47
  • Tour 3 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle; Winchester
  • Offender Not available

ambush, retaliation

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I’ll be riding in the 2024 Law Enforcement United Road to Hope this week to honor your sacrifice. I never knew you, but I’ll never forget you. Thank you for your service and sacrifice.

Sergeant Brian Williams
Norfolk VA Police Department

May 5, 2024

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