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 rail yards at Birmingham, Alabama.

Special Agent Varnell had taken the two prisoners to a nearby dispatcher's office. As he prepared to search the two, one 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. Special Agent Varnell was taken to St. Vincent Hospital, where he died two hours after the shooting.

Both subjects were taken into custody a short time later and confessed to the shooting. Both were charged with murder. One was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 15 years.

Special Agent Varnell was a United States WWI Army veteran. He 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 Sentenced to 15 years

juvenile offender, trespasser

Most Recent Reflection

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Agent Varnell,
On today, the 94th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice-not just as a Law Enforcement Officer but for our Country as well when you served with the U.S. Army during World War I. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

August 25, 2023

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