Police Officer Robert D. Patterson

Police Officer Robert D. Patterson

Birmingham Police Department, Alabama

End of Watch Sunday, October 31, 1982

Add to My Heroes

Robert D. Patterson

Police Officer Robert Patterson was shot and killed by another officer who mistook him for an offender.

Officer Patterson was working plainclothes, secondary employment job at a nightclub on Morris Avenue. He had broken up a fight between two women and disarmed one of them who had pulled out a knife. As Officer Patterson walked the woman out of the nightclub he encountered an on-duty officer who was unaware of what had just occurred and mistook Officer Patterson as an offender who was holding a woman at knifepoint.

The officer grabbed Officer Patterson's arm and shot him. Officer Patterson died in surgery a short time later.


  • Age 51
  • Tour 20 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire (Inadvertent)

mistaken identity, plainclothes, secondary employment

Most Recent Reflection

View all 15 Reflections

It is not how you died that made you my hero, it is how you lived!


October 31, 2021

Want even more control of your Reflection? Create a free ODMP account now for these benefits:

  • Quick access to your heroes
  • Reflections published quicker
  • Save a Reflection signature
  • View, edit or delete any Reflection you've left in the past

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.