Montana Law Enforcement Museum

212 E. Broadway
Philipsburg, MT 59858
(406) 859-6536

Undersheriff Arthur "Buzz" Burford

Golden Valley County Sheriff's Office

Department Patch

Undersheriff Buzz Burford was shot and killed when he and a deputy had gone to a residence on a business matter. Unbeknownst to the deputies, the rancher and his wife had murdered two teenage ranch hands several days earlier. The two suspects, thinking the deputies were coming to arrest them for the murders, opened fire from an upstairs window as the deputies approached the house. Undersheriff Burford was struck in the leg and both deputies took cover behind the patrol car. During the shootout the deputies exhausted all of their ammunition but were pinned down behind the car. As night fell the deputy was able to make his way from the property and go for help, but before he returned the suspect came down and shot Undersheriff Burford in the head, killing him. The suspect was convicted and later hung for the crime. His wife survived Undersheriff Burford.

End of Watch:
April 14, 1938