Special Agent David Robert DeLitta

Special Agent David Robert DeLitta

United States Environmental Protection Agency - Criminal Investigations Division, U.S. Government

End of Watch Friday, October 28, 1988

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David Robert DeLitta

Agent David DeLitta was shot and killed as he and a co-worker were being robbed when they arrived at a restaurant at 8225 Gulf Freeway in Houston, Texas. The two agents had just served a subpoena and were meeting other agents for dinner.

As the two agents walked into the restaurant, they were confronted by an armed man who demanded the agents place their wallets on the hood of their car. Agent DeLitta attempted to retrieve his duty weapon from his ankle holster as the man began shooting. The subject's last round penetrated Agent Delitta's arm and entered his abdomen. He was transported to a local hospital where he remained in surgery for approximately 30 hours before succumbing to the wound.

The subject fled the scene but turned himself in through a local television station one month later. He was convicted of state charges of capital murder and on federal charges of murdering a federal agent. He was sentenced to death but died in prison while on death row.

After the man had been taken into custody the gun used to murder Agent DeLitta was used in another murder.

Agent DeLitta had served in law enforcement for 16 years. He was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran of the Vietnam War. His law enforcement career included clerking for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as an officer for the Tampa Police Department and the Greeley Police Department, and as a Drug Enforcement Administration undercover special agent. He had only served with the EPA for four months when he was murdered. He is survived by his wife, son, daughter, parents, brother, and sister.


  • Age 38
  • Tour 16 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Location Texas
  • Incident Date Thursday, October 27, 1988
  • Weapon Handgun; .38 caliber
  • Offender Died on death row


Most Recent Reflection

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I miss my friend and partner from our Tampa Police days in the late '70's and again in the late '80's with the U.S. EPA-CID. To the DeLitta family our constant thoughts and prayers.

Marty Wright
U.S. EPA/CID-retired

January 17, 2022

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