Police Officer Bryon Merritt

Police Officer Bryon Merritt

Beaumont Police Department, Texas

End of Watch Sunday, December 17, 1905

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Bryon Merritt

Officer Bryon Merritt was shot and killed while attempting to arrest a man who was walking along streetcar tracks carrying two pistols.

Motorman Bryon Merritt, who was commissioned as a Beaumont police officer, brought his streetcar to a stop just in front of the man. Stepping to the right side of the vestibule, he ordered the man to consider himself under arrest. The subject spoke to Officer Merritt, and asked him if he had a gun, and on Officer Merritt answering in the negative, the man immediately raised one of his revolvers and fired at close range, striking him in the chest. Officer Merritt ran about 20 steps after being shot and fell face first at the side of the track.

The man proceeded to a nearby house and told the resident to take his wife and child and flee because he intended to kill the officers coming after him and die with them. Deputy Constable Elijah Pevito, of the Jefferson County Constable's Office - Precinct 1, along with Jefferson County sheriff's deputies and Beaumont police officers arrived at the home and surrounded it. Deputy Constable Pevito approached the front of the house while the other officers took up positions on the sides and rear. Suddenly a shot rang out and Deputy Constable Pevito was seen staggering backward near the fence and fall to the ground. His heart was penetrated and death resulted almost instantly.

The man came out with two revolvers still clutched in his hands. He was ordered to drop the guns but made a move to shoot the officers. One of the deputies fired a Winchester rifle and struck the man in the temple, killing him instantly.

Officer Merritt applied for a position on the Beaumont police force on the first of December and asked for a 15-day lay off from the streetcar company to see if he liked police work. He was assigned the night beat at Pearl Street and Crockett Street for seven to 10 days. He decided to return to the streetcar company a few days before he was killed. All newspaper accounts reported that Officer Merritt was still commissioned as a Beaumont police officer and he was attempting to arrest the man when he was killed.

Officer Merritt was survived by a wife, two small children, three brothers, and two sisters. He was buried in the Magnolia Cemetery in Beaumont.


  • Age 29
  • Tour 1 week
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Shot and killed

weapons violation

Most Recent Reflection

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Officer Merritt,
On today, the 110th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Beaumont.


United States Border Patrol

December 18, 2015

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