TIME CAPSULE DECEMBER 1908 Constable John McBride was shot and killed on Christmas Day, 1908

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The Time Capsules stories are prepared by Bob Brinkman

Texas Historical Commission

In the Line of Duty

This month we recall the supreme sacrifice of a Round Rock lawman. Constable John McBride was shot and killed on Christmas Day, 1908. He was in McNeil that afternoon when farmer Ed Kennels pulled up in his horse buggy reporting some of his provisions had been stolen. McBride agreed to accompany the man two miles south, to the village of Duval in Travis County. Near there they spotted Louis Guerreres, whom Kennels suspected of the robbery. McBride informed Guerreres that he was going to arrest him, and asked him to hand over his 22-caliber rifle. A scuffle ensued, and the larger Guerreres wrestled the gun from McBride and shot him pointblank, killing him instantly. Guerreres took McBride’s pistol and fled the scene.

Kennels rode to the nearest telephone and called the Travis County sheriff’s department. Officers came to the scene from all over the county. That afternoon Constable Lem King of Pflugerville correctly surmised where Guerreres might be hiding, and tracked him to a house a short distance away. King flung open the door and Guerreres snapped an empty revolver in his face, McBride’s gun which luckily was not loaded. King struck Guerreres on the head with his own pistol twice, but with no effect. Finally King shot Guerreres three times and killed him.

McBride was a lifelong resident of Williamson County and had been a constable in Round Rock for a few years before the holiday tragedy.

He died at age 36, and left behind a widow and two children. Two other children, twin sons, died in infancy in 1905 and are buried at Round Rock Cemetery. McBride was the third lawman killed in Round Rock. Captain Ed Hall, Round Rock city marshal, was shot in a scuffle in March 1878 and died later that week. A. W. Grimes was deputy sheriff in July 1878 when he was killed by Sam Bass in downtown Round Rock. Another Round Rock native, Tom Allen, was shot and killed in Austin in 1915 while serving with the Austin Police Department. Thankfully, hundreds of men and women have protected us through the years without serious injury or accident.