Special Agent
Elmer Robbins
Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railway Police Department
Thursday, April 17, 1919

Age: 51
Served:
Badge #:
Not Included
Not Included

Incident Details

Cause of Death:
Gunfire
Date/Time of Incident:
Thursday, April 17, 1919
04:00 am
Incident to Death Duration:
Same day
Incident Location:
Big Four Railway yards, Greensburg
Incident County:
Decatur
Incident Township:
Washington
Weapon Used:
Handgun
Suspect Disposition:
Died while in custody
Burial Place:
South Park Cemetery, Greensburg

   Special Agent Elmer Robbins was shot and killed in Greensburg, while searching a train coming from Ohio after having received a tip that two men were transporting a large load of illegal whiskey on it.

   A man claiming to be a federal revenue officer had called Agent Robbins at home to make the report. Agent Robbins assembled a posse with the assistance of the Greensburg Police Department and Decatur County Sheriff's Department.

   The posse stopped the train as it approached Greensburg and Agent Robbins began searching it. When he entered the coal car he was fatally shot. The two suspects then jumped from the train and hid nearby.

   It is believed they reboarded the train when it started moving again. Both were arrested in Indianapolis the following day. The man who confessed to shooting Agent Robbins escaped from jail but was found dead in a local river.

   An investigation later revealed that the man who had alerted Agent Robbins to the illegal whiskey was impersonating a federal officer. He had hired the two men on the train to deliver the whiskey to him but believed they were stealing it.

   The man was arrested and charged with impersonating a federal officer.

   Special Agent Robbins was survived by his wife and son.


The responsibilities of the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railway Police Department (1889–1930) are now under the jurisdiction of the Norfolk Southern Railway Police Department.

~ ~ ~
This officer, discovered in 2015, has not been submitted for consideration as an eligible line of duty death to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund by the Norfolk Southern Railway Police Department.

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