Killing of Alfonzo Merritt in Alabama in 1943


Case summary

Alfonzo Merritt, age 39, a worker at the Southern Shops, was killed in 1943 by police officer John Patrick in Tuscumbia, Alabama. On August 28, 1943, Merritt was visiting with others in the home of Mrs. Inesta Handy when Patrick, Chief of Police Lee Goodwin, Muscle Shoals City Chief of Police Meadows, and Mr. Smith of the Alabama Beverage Control Board came to search the house. Patrick shot Merritt in the course of the search, and Merritt died several days later. Merritt’s wife Annie hired a lawyer to sue Patrick; outcome unknown.


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

Date of incident: 1943-08-28
Location: Tuscumbia, Colbert County, Alabama
Location type: private space - domestic
Allegation against victim: possessing whiskey

Coroner process
Coroner/inquest: [ ]
Finding of no legal responsibility: [ ]

Criminal process
Arrest: no
Charge/indictment/information: [ ]
Grand jury: [ ]
Trial: [ ]
Conviction: [ ]
Sentence: [ ]

DOJ case ID:


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