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Officer Merle Lee Andrews | California Highway Patrol, California California Highway Patrol, California

Officer

Merle Lee Andrews

California Highway Patrol, California

End of Watch: Wednesday, December 20, 1967

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 39

Tour: 9 years

Badge # 2769

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Rifle; .30 caliber

Offender: Sentenced to life

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Officer Merle Andrews was shot and killed while conducting a felony traffic stop of a man wanted in connection with a robbery and kidnapping. He spotted the vehicle and called for backup as he stopped. As he approached the vehicle with his weapon drawn the suspect opened fire, fatally wounding him. The suspect was later apprehended at a drug store where he held three hostages who were released unharmed.

The suspect was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life on August 30, 1972.

Officer Andrews had been with the agency for nine years.

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I answered the phone the night the Highway Patrol phoned to notify my father, Compton PD Officer Neal Andrews and Merle's brother, that Merle had been shot. Our family, including Grandma Andrews, Merle's mother, were gathered in the dining room, making Christmas gifts and preparing for the annual family Christmas Eve dinner. The deafening silence that followed a once festive moment still haunts me. The memories of the man Merle was and the joy of life he shared, still live within all of us. Dad was lost after Merle's death and vowed to make sure his killer received a sentence that would keep him off the streets so he would not harm anyone else. Now with State realignment, we fear he'll receive compassionate release, so it's for Merle, dad, all peace officers, and those residents that stayed and held Merle until backup and the ambulance arrived, that I stay on the victim notification list to attend each suitability hearing. Most of all, I keep Merle alive, and live a life that would make him proud. May his memory, and the memory of all the others that gave their life in service be for a blessing. May we never forget what they gave up for us.

Margaret Cady
Niece and Contract Manager, OCSD
April 18, 2014

 

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