End of Watch
July 25, 1926
Patrol Inspector Lon Parker was killed in a battle with alien liquor smugglers south of Wills Ranch, west of the Huachuca Mountains, in Arizona, on July 25, 1926. Late that afternoon he left camp alone to take up the trail of mounted liquor smugglers. Tracks of a man and a horse had been discovered with evidence that the horse was loaded with liquor or other contraband. The Wills family returned to their ranch at about 6 p.m. and found him on their woodpile dying from a gunshot wound. He had been shot with a rifle bullet in the back. He died within a few minutes without regaining consciousness. Investigating officers theorized that Espinosa was accompanied by another smuggler, that Officer Parker rode up to Espinosa, covered him with a pistol and was shot by Espinosa’s companion, who was purposely riding at some distance for the purpose of protecting Espinosa and the liquor. Parker, though mortally wounded, was able to kill Espinosa and his horse, using only one shot for each, then rode 2 1/2 miles to Wills Ranch, where he collapsed.