Investigator Thomas M. Gravely

Investigator Thomas M. Gravely

Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, Virginia

End of Watch Tuesday, September 6, 1938

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Thomas M. Gravely

Investigator Thomas Gravely was shot and killed while raiding a still in Pulaski County with the sheriff, two deputies, and his son, who was going to drive the car and hide it during the operation.

The still had been discovered the previous day and they were returning to apprehend the still's operators. As they arrived a young lookout warned the operator that someone was approaching. The man attempted to flee armed with three weapons and a can of whiskey. He exchanged shots with two of the deputies and then proceeded in Investigator Gravely's direction. The suspect immediately fired twice with a 12-gauge shotgun, striking Investigator Gravely in the face, head and neck.

Investigator Gravely was transported to a hospital where he remained until succumbing to his wounds six days later. The suspects were both arrested in connection with his murder. The shooter was sentenced to life in prison for the murder.

Investigator Gravely had been with the agency for four years and was survived his wife and three sons.


  • Age 54
  • Tour 4 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Thursday, September 1, 1938
  • Weapon Shotgun; 12 gauge
  • Offender Sentenced to life

Most Recent Reflection

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Investigator Gravely,
On today, the 80th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of the state of Virginia. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

September 6, 2018

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