Circumstances of Death
Prohibition Agents Patrick Sharp, Victor Buthod, J. A. Fish and Lynn Gillespie were executing a Federal search warrant for an illicit distillery on a farm near Little York, Harris County, TX. During the search, a five gallon jug of whiskey was found in a bedroom closet. In the barn, copper coils, often used in the liquor distillation process, were found hidden under the floor boards. Additional searching found a trap door leading to an underground room.
Agents Sharp and Buthod descended a wooded ladder and found an old still below. As they examined the still, Agent Sharp suddenly turned to Agent Buthod and said, "Get up, get out, quick." Agent Buthod started up the ladder and was very dizzy when he reached the top. He saw Agent Sharp sitting on the ground near the bottom of the ladder, but he was non-responsive. Agent Buthod went back down and attempted to get him up the ladder, but he also lost consciousness.
Agent Fish rescued Agent Buthod from the room, and with the assistance of Agent Gillespie and others, they also rescued Agent Sharp. However, he died at the scene from asphyxiation. Agent Buthod was rushed to a local hospital and recovered. Without question, Agent Sharp's quick assessment and response to the danger facing both men that day saved Agent Buthod from certain death.
Agent Sharp joined the Prohibition Unit on August 24, 1925, with an annual salary of $1,680. Previously, Agent Sharp was a police officer for the City of San Antonio, TX.
Agent Sharp was born in Texas. He was survived by his wife, Viola. At the time of his death, Mrs. Sharp was pregnant with their son, Patrick. Agent Sharp also had three children with his first wife, Louise; sons, Vernon and William; and daughter, Beatrice.