Special Agent Glenn Lafayette Varnell

Special Agent Glenn Lafayette Varnell

Southern Railway Police Department, Railroad Police

End of Watch Sunday, August 25, 1929

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Glenn Lafayette Varnell

Special Agent Glenn Varnell was shot and killed when he attempted to arrest a man and a juvenile boy, ages 20 and 17, who were trespassing on a train in the area of 24th Street and Railroad Avenue in the downtown railyards at Birmingham, Alabama.

Special Agent Varnell had taken the two prisoners to a nearby dispatcher's office. As he prepared to search the two the man pulled out a pistol and shot Special Agent Varnell in the abdomen. Despite the wound, he was able to return fire and wounded the man. Both subjects were taken into custody a short time later and confessed to the shooting. Both were charged with murder.

Special Agent Varnell was taken to St. Vincent Hospital where he died two hours after the shooting.

Special Agent Varnell, a WWI Army veteran, was survived by his wife, three-year-old son, and infant daughter.


  • Age 32
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Location Alabama
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Arrested

juvenile offender, trespasser

Most Recent Reflection

View all 3 Reflections

It means so much to me to have found my Grandfather's name listed on the Officers Down Memorial Page. He along with all the other officers listed paid the ultimate sacrifice. My mother was 14 months old and her brother had just turned 3 when their father was killed. They had all walked together to the street car that morning to see him off to work. My grandmother begged him not to go because he had been sick with the flu. He said he had a family to provide for and had to go. He was a man of honor as are all the officers listed on this memorial page. My mother will soon turn 90 years old and she was happy to see that her father had not been forgotten. We were moved to tears by the reflections of the two officers and we thank them for their words and their service. Thank you for remembering the grandfather I never got to know. Thank you to all the officers listed on this Memorial page who took the oath to serve and protect and paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Lynn Bryant

June 1, 2018

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