Deputy Sheriff William Phineas Brown

Deputy Sheriff William Phineas Brown

Pinal County Sheriff's Office, Arizona

End of Watch Wednesday, August 19, 1914

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William Phineas Brown

Deputy Sheriff Phineas Brown was ambushed and killed in Ray, Arizona, while trying to arrest four men for stealing a horse.

Deputy Brown and a seventeen-year-old were going to a camp where the suspected horse thieves were. The seventeen-year-old was along to identify the horse. As the approached the camp, they were ambushed and killed, launching the bloodiest manhunt in Arizona history.

After news of the ambush reached town, a large posse road toward the camp. As they approached the camp they saw a group of men off to the side of the trail and began firing, killing four of the would-be ambushers. The rest retreated to the camp. The next day the posse assaulted the camp where two posse members were killed and two additional gang members were killed. The rest of the gang scattered to the hills. One gang member was shot as he tried to re-enter the town. Another was killed and two captured near Sacaton. The last member of the gang was captured and confessed and was hung on December 10th, 1915.

Deputy Brown was survived by his wife.


  • Age 32
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Hung in 1915

ambush, larceny

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Thank you for your service and rest in peace always knowing that no passage of time will ever erase your sacrifice.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven RizzoDelaware State Police (Retired)

August 19, 2020

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