Pat Garrett | American lawman | Britannica

Pat Garrett

American lawman
Print
Feedback
Corrections? Updates? Omissions? Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login).
Thank you for your feedback

Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article.

Join Britannica's Publishing Partner Program and our community of experts to gain a global audience for your work!
External Websites
Britannica Websites
Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students.
Alternative Title: Patrick Floyd Garrett

Pat Garrett, byname of Patrick Floyd Garrett, (born June 5, 1850, Chambers County, Ala., U.S.—died Feb. 29, 1908, near Las Cruces, N.M.), Western U.S. lawman known as the man who killed Billy the Kid (q.v.).

7:045 Gold: Gold Is Where You Find It, pirate with treasure chest full of gold on beach, ship sails away
Britannica Quiz
Criminality and Famous Outlaws
What word describes Edward Teach, Anne Bonny, and Henry Morgan?

Born in Alabama and reared in Louisiana, Garrett left home at about the age of 17 and headed for Texas and the life of a cowboy and buffalo hunter. In 1879 he married and settled in Lincoln County, N.M., where he became first deputy sheriff and then sheriff. In July 1881 he tracked down and shot the escaped murderer Billy the Kid.

Thereafter, Garrett was a rancher near Roswell, N.M. (1882–96), deputy sheriff and then sheriff of Dona Ana County, N.M. (1896–1902), and collector of customs at El Paso, Texas (1902–06). He then bought a horse ranch, leased it, and became involved in a heated dispute over the lease. Garrett was fatally shot on the road from the ranch to Las Cruces, N.M. The man who had leased the ranch, Wayne Brazel, alleged that Garrett had drawn a gun on him and that the killing was self-defense. A witness agreed, and Brazel went free. A suspicion lingered that Brazel or someone else conspired to execute Garrett, a lawman with many enemies.

Special podcast episode for parents!