Sheriff Ernest Daniel "Hank" Hamilton

Sheriff Ernest Daniel "Hank" Hamilton

Presidio County Sheriff's Department, Texas

End of Watch Friday, April 27, 1973

Add to My Heroes

Ernest Daniel "Hank" Hamilton

Sheriff Hank Hamilton was shot and killed while he and a deputy questioned a man near Marfa in a parked car at the request of U.S. Border Patrol agents in a spotter plane at 4 pm.

During the questioning, the suspect suddenly opened fire, shooting Sheriff Hamilton five times and the deputy once. The suspect fled but was arrested by Border Patrol agents a short distance away. The man, 51, was charged with capital murder.

No one could understand why the man started shooting. The Border Patrol agents just wanted to make sure he was not up to something that was illegal. No motive was determined. On Jun 13, 1973, the suspect was convicted of murder and sentenced to life.

Sheriff Hamilton was a United States Army WWII veteran and had served as the Sheriff of Presidio County Sheriff's Department for only three months and had previously served with the El Paso Police Department for six years. He was survived by his wife.


  • Age 65
  • Tour 6 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; Pistol
  • Offender Sentenced to life

suspicious person

Most Recent Reflection

View all 11 Reflections

Sheriff Hamilton,
On today, the 50th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Presidio County. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

April 27, 2023

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.