Undersheriff Zach Allen

Undersheriff Zach Allen

Rio Grande County Sheriff's Office, Colorado

End of Watch Monday, August 9, 1875

Zach Allen

Undersheriff Zach Allen was shot and killed in a case of mistaken identity.

He and a Del Norte police officer had arrested two horse thieves and placed them in the county jail. They received word that friends of the men were going to try to break them out overnight.

The Del Norte officer was tasked with guarding the jail and the two agreed that Undersheriff Allen were to give a signal when he returned. At approximately 2:00 am Undersheriff Allen returned to the jail and was challenged by the Del Norte officer. Undersheriff Allen failed to give the agreed upon signal and was shot by the officer, who didn't realize it was the undersheriff.

Undersheriff Allen acknowledged on his deathbed that he should have given the signal.

Undersheriff Allen had previously served as the sheriff of both Huerfano County and Pueblo County. He was survived by his wife and four children.


  • Age 41
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire (Accidental)

Most Recent Reflection

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Undersheriff Allen,
On today, the 140th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Rio Grande County.


United States Border Patrol

August 9, 2015

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