The son of a retired sheriff’s deputy in Texas Michael Merritt said that he killed his “alcoholic” father Brian Cannon Merritt to protect his mother and himself from a nightmarish cycle of domestic violence.
Michael, 22, shot and killed his 53-year-old father on November 14, 2018, at the family’s home in Spring. The incident took place at 5:32 a.m.
In an interview with KTRK, Michael explained why he gunned down his father, who retired from the Harris County Sheriff’s Office in 2017 after three decades of service.
“It was the only way to guarantee my mom and I’s safety,” he said.
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“I had no way of knowing what he was capable of or what he was armed with. I knew that given the opportunity and given the right amount of whatever, he could’ve done some very terrible things to us — and I know he was about to do to my mom.”
Michael and his mother had suffered years of physical and verbal maltreatment from his alcoholic dad.
“The breaking point was when I left my room to find my mom covering her face and sobbing because my dad had punched her in the face," he said. "The breaking point was when he was going to do the same thing to me, if not worse.”
Michael also accused his father of finding a way to hide any proof of the alleged abuse.
“He made sure not to leave any bruises so police wouldn’t believe us,” he said. “He thought we were defenseless.”
According to the department official's announcement, the case will be presented to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office once an investigation is completed.
The announcement read, “Merritt's 22-year-old told Sheriff’s Office homicide investigators that his father was physically assaulting his mother, and that he shot his father to protect his mother.”
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