Killing of Samuel Shepherd in Florida in 1951


Case summary

Samuel Shepherd (1927-1951), a laborer and veteran, was killed by Sheriff Willis McCall in Umatilla, Lake County, Florida. Shepherd and three other Black men—Charles Greenlee, Walter Irvin, and Ernest Thomas—known together as the Groveland Four—were wrongly convicted of raping Norma Padgett, a white teen. Shepherd and Irvin received a new trial. As McCall was transporting them, handcuffed, to their pretrial hearing, he fatally shot Shepherd and wounded Irvin. The Groveland Four were exonerated in 2021.


Alleged perpetrators/other named individuals:
Perpetrator group type: police

Date of incident: 1951-11-06
Location: Lake County, Florida
Location type: public space - rural
Allegation against victim: raping a white woman; attacking police officer; attempting to escape

Coroner process
Coroner/inquest: yes
Finding of no legal responsibility: yes

Criminal process
Arrest: [ ]
Charge/indictment/information: [ ]
Grand jury: yes
Trial: [ ]
Conviction: [ ]
Sentence: [ ]

FBI case ID:

Miami 44-127

Bureau 44-4055

Mobile 44-457

St. Louis 44-107

Mobile 44-71

Miami 44-156

Miami 44-267

Savannah 44-526

New York 44-127

Bureau 44-2722

Boston 44-54

DOJ case ID:



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