Family recalls victim’s kindness

Published 10:34 am Friday, September 25, 2015

Friends and family members remember homicide victim Alfred “Pete” Patton, 62, as a gentle man of service, honor and kindness.

“He was such a nice person. I’m just numb. I’m shocked,” his sister, Dr. Mary Patton Rivers said by phone from Illinois.

Rivers said she was concerned that with the manner in which her brother was killed with an ax people would only focus on the shocking violence and forget his life of service.

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“I want to put a face with my brother. He was a Vietnam veteran and a professional welder,” she said.

Patton was found dead Tuesday in his mobile home on Nebula Drive off Oak Ridge Road. His nephew, Joseph Patton, was charged Wednesday with first-degree murder, and Thursday, Warren County Judge Johnny Price ordered him held without bail.

Pete Patton was a family man who enjoyed working in his small garden and spending time with relatives, his daughter, Doris Patton said.

“He loved growing anything,” she said. “He really loved to garden,” she said.

Doris Patton had last seen her father on Labor Day.

“We would go get him ever holiday and birthday,” she said. “We were going to see him again this weekend.”

A family member discovered Pete Patton’s body after no one had heard from his for several days, Sheriff Martin Pace said.

Pete Patton was a welder, though in recent years he was retired and disabled, family members said. He spent about eight years in the Army, his sister said.

“He loved his family. We loved him and we’re going to miss him dearly,” Rivers said. “He was one of the nicest persons you ever wanted to meet. He was very meek and quiet.”

North Ward Alderman Michael Mayfield was a lifelong friend of Pete Patton, who he jokingly called Mr. Pete even though Patton was only four years older than him.

“He was a very soft-spoken guy who would do anything to help you,” Mayfield said. “I truthfully can’t say enough good about the man.”

Mayfield last saw Patton at a grocery store about a week and a half before his death.

“We’ve always been around one another. It’s been very heart-wrenching to find out what happened to him and the tragic way that it happened,” Mayfield said.

Authorities have said Joseph Patton used an ax to kill his uncle.

He was caught on surveillance video buying the ax and buying bleach and towels around the same time his uncle was killed, Warren County Lt. Randy Lewis said.

Pete Patton’s death is the eight homicide reported in Vicksburg and Warren County this year. Three homicides have been reported in September.

“I think this community as a whole needs a whole lot of healing,” Mayfield said. “I think the citizens of Vicksburg and Warren County are prepared to stand up and say there are things in this community that should not be happening.”