Senior Patrol Inspector Robert William Kelsay

Senior Patrol Inspector Robert William Kelsay

United States Department of Labor - Immigration Service - United States Border Patrol, U.S. Government

End of Watch Wednesday, June 25, 1930

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Robert William Kelsay

Senior Patrol Inspector Robert Kelsay was shot and killed in Texas when he encountered several smugglers along the banks of the Rio Grande River in Laredo, Texas.

He and another inspector had obtained a tip that the smugglers would be placing contraband liquor at a certain location along the river within the Laredo city limits. The inspectors went to the location, and as they made their way through the brush, were ambushed by one of the smugglers. Despite being mortally wounded, Inspector Kelsay returned fire and fatally wounded the man as he fled back into Mexico.

The man's body was recovered by Mexican customs officers. Three other smugglers were also shot during the shootout, one of them fatally.

Inspector Kelsay was a U.S. Army veteran of WWI and had served with the United States Border Patrol for five years. He was survived by his wife, adopted son, father, two brothers, and sister. He was buried in Denton, Texas.


  • Age Not available
  • Tour 5 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Location Texas
  • Weapon Handgun; .45 caliber
  • Offender Shot and killed


Most Recent Reflection

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SPI Kelsay,
On today, the 94th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for our Country-not just when you served with the U.S. Border Patrol but also when you served with the U.S. Army during World War I.

BPA Mike Casey
United States Border Patrol(Retired)

June 25, 2024

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