Bio & Incident Details
Tour: 20 years
Badge # Not available
Incident Date: 7/22/1921
Suspect: Pardoned after 8 years
Deputy Sheriff Alfred Pate was shot and killed as he, the sheriff, and four other deputies raided an illegal still in northern Cumberland County.
As they snuck upon the scene they were discovered and the three suspects fled the scene. The deputies destroyed the liquor and confiscated the items. They attempted to put a large copper pot into the backseat of the car but it was too large and they were unable to close the back door. Because of this Deputy Pate rode on the running board as they slowly drove away from the area. Suddenly shots rang out from the woods, fatally wounding Deputy Pate and nearly striking the other deputies.
One suspect was apprehended and sentenced to 30 years hard labor in state prison. In prison the suspect showed skill at designing firearms and after serving 8 of the 30 years was granted a commutation of his sentence by the governor and released. The suspect went on to briefly work for Remington, Colt and Winchester. While at Winchester he designed the short stroke gas piston used by other Winchester engineers in the development of the U.S. Carbine, Caliber .30 M1. The suspect was committed to a psychiatric hospital as a result of his many years of alcoholism in 1973, where he died in 1975.
Deputy Pate had been in law enforcement for 20 years and was survived by his wife and five children. He was first buried in the Gee Family Cemetery and was later reburied in Cross Creek Cemetery, Number Three, Fayetteville, North Carolina.