Patrolman William Morgan Payton

Patrolman William Morgan Payton

West Palm Beach Police Department, Florida

End of Watch Saturday, February 9, 1924

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William Morgan Payton

Patrolman William Payton was shot and killed with his own gun by a man while investigating a domestic disturbance at a residence near the intersection of 3rd Street and Division Street.

As he entered the home the man attacked and disarmed him. The man then shot him in the head. Several bystanders took Officer Payton to Good Samaritan Hospital where he died.

The man who shot him fled but was arrestd by a posse. He was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to death. The Florida Supreme Court granted him a new trial resulting in a conviction of manslaughter with a 15 year sentence. He was given a conditional pardon on July 3, 1933.

Officer Payton was a U.S. Army veteran of WWI and had served with the West Palm Beach Police Department for 14 months. He is survived by his wife.


  • Age 34
  • Tour 1 year, 4 months
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Pardoned in 1933


Most Recent Reflection

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Patrolman Payton,
On today, the 100th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice-not just as a Law Enforcement Officer but for our Country as well when you served with the U.S. Army during World War I.

BPA Mike Casey
United States Border Patrol(Reҕired)

February 9, 2024

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