At 4:35 a.m. on September 23, 1974, Mesquite Police Officer Travis Williams while on patrol surprised a suspect burglarizing the Exxon station located at the intersection of Belt Line Road and Highway 80. Officer Williams and the burglar exchanged gunfire. The suspect fled before backup officers arrived three minutes later.
Backup officers found Officer Williams lying unconscious on the driveway of the service station suffering from several gunshot wounds. Officer Williams never regained consciousness and died before arriving at the hospital. During the gun battle Officer Williams was able to effectively return fire and wound his assailant.
Officer Williams’ actions in wounding his assailant ultimately led to the arrest and conviction of the suspect. The suspect was arrested when he sought treatment for his wounds. The suspect was sentenced to death for the murder of Officer Travis Williams, but the sentence was later commuted to life in prison.
Officer Travis Williams was 28 years old at the time of his death. Officer Williams’ sacrifice is a tribute to himself, his family, police officers, and the citizens of Mesquite. Officer Williams was awarded the Medal of Honor and the Police Cross.