Type of Officer: Railroad Police Officer
Death Date: 4/19/1931
Added to Memorial: 1997
Circumstances of Death: Gunshot
A Rock Island special agent was shot and killed by George Varela April 19, 1931, after he had removed him from a train in Topeka. Varela attempted to board the moving train for the second time and Brandon was preventing him from doing so. In a confession, Varela claimed he fired the shot when he saw Brandon put a hand on his gun. Three shots were fired and one hit the officer. Fellow officer H. A. Purcell saw Varela fire the shots but did not see Brandon. Purcell pursued the fleeing Varela and the two exchanged several shots. He later gave up the pursuit and returned to the scene of the crime where he saw the dying Brandon. When police officers arrived, the search for Varela continued. Varela swam across the Kansas river and was found hiding about a mile from the crime scene. He would later be convicted of 1st-degree murder.