Killing of Eugene Bridges in North Carolina in 1944


Case summary

Eugene Bridges aka John Everett Bridges, 10, a shoeshine boy, was shot to death in 1944 by US Sgt. Jack Cooke in Richmond County, North Carolina. Bridges was shining Cooke’s shoes when Cooke fatally shot Bridges. Accounts of what happened differ. In one account, Cooke claimed his rifle accidentally discharged. Other witnesses stated that Cooke asked Bridges “Do you believe I will shoot you?” When Bridges replied no, Cooke shot him. A coroner's jury ruled the shooting accidental. In 1952, the US Congress passed a private law that paid Bridges's mother, Martha Bridges, $5,000 as compensation for the killing. An essay on this case, researched and authored by a CRRJ student, is available on request.


Alleged perpetrators/other named individuals:
Perpetrator group type: [ ]

Date of incident: 1944-02-03
Location: Hamlet, Richmond County, North Carolina
Location type: unknown - urban
Allegation against victim: [ ]

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

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

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