Son of Jesse W. Burks and Elizabeth Burks.
City Marshall of McKinney Police Department
Listed in the Officer Down Memorial
The Officer Down Memorial Page Remembers . . .
City Marshal Samuel Perry Burks
McKinney Police Department Texas
End of Watch: Thursday, June 12, 1902
Tour of Duty: 11 years
Badge Number: Not available
Cause of Death: Gunfire
Date of Incident: Wednesday, June 11, 1902
Weapon Used: Shotgun
Suspect Info: Not available
Marshal Burks succumbed to a gunshot wound sustained the previous day. He was shot by a store owner after he responded to a prowler call.
The officer and a night watchman had arrested three people at the scene. The night watchman took two of the suspects and Marshal Burks took the third suspect. As the marshal placed the suspect in his vehicle, the store owner, who believed Marshal Burks was one of the prowlers, opened fire with a shotgun.
Marshal Burks had served with the McKinney Police Department for 11 years. He was survived by his wife and three children.
SAM BURKS KILLED McKinney (Texas) Gazette
McKinney, with inexpressible grief, mourns today the tragic death of her brave marshal, beloved fire chief, true citizen, and devoted husband and father. At 5:20 o'clock yesterday morning the tolling of the fire bell announced the sad news to all that the deadly bullet had done its fatal work and Sam Burks was no more. The wounded officer suffered intense pain throughout the night and stated from the first that he was going to die. When placed upon the operating table it was found that this was only too true as the bullet had caused sixteen perforations of the bowels and much internal bleeding, so that death was inevitable. The dying man was conscious and counseled his wife and friends to attach no blame to Mrs. Graham for the shooting as the mistake was one for which she was in no way responsible. His mind continually dwelt up in the fire department and the fire boys with whom he had served so long and by whom he was so well beloved and he many times expressed the desire that they have charge of the funeral. The further details of the shooting show that it was purely an accident and no blame whatever can be attached to Mrs. Graham for the deplorable occurrence. It seems that Marshal Burks received a phone message to go down to that neighborhood as it was thought that negro prowlers were there, and did so accompanied by night Policeman Wallace Stiff. They found two men and a negro woman, Mrs. Graham's house help, outside her residency. They were arrested and night Policeman Stiff took the men in custody and started towards town while Marshal Burks took charge of the negro woman. It appears that the negress wrenched loose from him and started towards the house screaming, closely followed by the officer. She ran to the door which was at this moment opened by Mrs. Graham who held a pistol and seeing the figure of a man in the dark reaching toward the screaming woman, she fired. Only a short time before, it is said, the negress had been badly frightened by a negro man who had threatened to take her life. Mr. Graham is completely prostrated over the tragedy and the hearts of all the people of the city go out to her in sincere sympathy. The deceased was about forty-two years of age and a very popular man and officer. He leaves a wife and three children, a stepmother, who raised him, three brothers and two sisters, and a half brother and sister. Gabe Beck of this city, is a brother in law. He was a member of the Christian Church, the Knights of Pythias, and the Woodmen of the World, carrying a life insurance policy of $2,000 in the latter order. Marshal Burks is an uncle of Mrs. L.P. Kauffman of this place, and the youngest brother of Dr. W.F. Burks of Crocker, and is well known in Pulaski and adjoining counties.
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