Officer Merrel L. Kissinger

Officer Merrel L. Kissinger

California Highway Patrol, California

End of Watch Sunday, February 14, 1965

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Merrel L. Kissinger

Officer Merrel Kissinger was shot and killed by a prisoner he had just arrested for drunk driving near Oceanside. During the transport to the San Diego County Jail, the suspect opened fire through the patrol car's screen with a .25 caliber handgun that was concealed when he was searched by another officer. The suspect was apprehended after failing to break out of the patrol car when the car crashed.

The 35-year-old suspect, father of 13 children, was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life on May 14, 1965. He was a free man in 1978.

Officer Kissinger had been with the California Highway Patrol for 14 years.


  • Age 39
  • Tour 14 years
  • Badge 1134

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .25 caliber
  • Offender Sentenced to life

Most Recent Reflection

View all 15 Reflections

God bless you for your service to our beloved Blue and Gold. I was stationed at El Toro MCAS at the time and remember this very clearly. I became a CHP officer after my 4 years in the Marine Corps in 1969 and always thought of your service during my years serving on the Patrol...Thank you for your service and you will never be forgotten.

State Traffic Officer 7185 Mike Becze
California Highway Patrol

February 12, 2020

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