Captain Preston George Burnam

Captain Preston George Burnam

Amarillo Police Department, Texas

End of Watch Friday, January 5, 1934

Add to My Heroes

Preston George Burnam

Captain Preston Burnam was shot and killed after responding to a call of a man with a gun in a hotel.

The suspect was staying at the Western Motel and was creating a drunken disturbance in his room. The resident of another room called the front desk and complained about the noise. The desk clerk went to suspect's room and asked him to be quiet.

The suspect then ran out into the hall carrying a gun demanding to know who was complaining. The suspect and the person who called in the complaint began fighting in the hall. The weapon discharged and the fight ended. The suspect ran downstairs into the lobby and assaulted another person staying at the hotel.

The suspect held the gun to the side of the person he had assaulted in the lobby and ordered him outside the hotel. As they were walking out of the hotel Captain Burnam and his driver pulled up.

The suspect began running around the corner of the hotel. Captain Burnam chased him and the driver stayed to interview the complainant. Gunshots were heard around the corner and when the driver ran to assist he found Captain Burnam on the ground wounded.

Captain Burnam was assisted to the hotel where he died. He had been shot four times at close range by a .32 Colt revolver. Captain Burnam's weapon was still in its holster. The suspect was later apprehended and the weapon recovered.

The 27-year-old suspect was sentenced to life in prison. On August 28, 1942, he was killed by a fellow inmate who struck him in the head with a hammer at the Harlem Prison Farm in Fort Bend County.

Captain Burnam was survived by his daughter.


  • Age 62
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .32 caliber
  • Offender Deceased

Most Recent Reflection

View all 8 Reflections

Thank you to all my friend at Amarillo police department 1982 class I love you all and never meet more honorable women and I have worked with I'm proud to have been a rookie police officer from April 1982 until I left on 27June 1983. After having brain surgery on Oct 4, 0800 hour and some up paralyzed from the waist down. All of you took care of me, Mike Shumate, partner and the star of our team, donald, kock,shwab,shirley, willams,vega, sgt. Peters, Lt. Determan, and miss smitherman the best the world will know In the great state of Texas. Thank you all,
Patrick C Smith. After 18 brain surgeries I'm still alive, retired from American Airlines. Moving in Menifee ca 92586

Rookie Patrick Carter Smith
Amarillo police department

January 8, 2021

Want even more control of your Reflection? Create a free ODMP account now for these benefits:

  • Quick access to your heroes
  • Reflections published quicker
  • Save a Reflection signature
  • View, edit or delete any Reflection you've left in the past

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.