Captain Preston George Burnam

Captain Preston George Burnam

Amarillo Police Department, Texas

End of Watch Friday, January 5, 1934

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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

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Capt. Burnam,
Sir, even though it has been 79 years since your End of Watch you are still honored and remembered. I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Amarillo.


U.S. Border Patrol

January 5, 2013

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