A fight between two fans over the outcome of the Nov. 9 LSU-Alabama game turned fatal when one man shot the other with a pistol.
James Michael Roland "Mikie" Merritt, of Cherokee, Alabama, died Friday after nearly a week spent on life support in Huntsville Hospital. He was 29.
The alleged shooter, David Allen Fulkerson, had been charged with attempted murder, which was upgraded to murder on Friday, according to the TimesDaily newspaper in Florence.
Fulkerson’s bail was increased from $50,000 to $100,000 after Merritt’s death.
"They just got into it over the ball game," Colbert County Sheriff Frank Williamson told the TimesDaily. "They'd been jawing at each other all day. Alcohol played a big part in it."
Williamson said that Fulkerson's and Merritt’s girlfriends are sisters and that the fight broke out at Fulkerson’s residence in Littleville, Alabama. People had gathered there to watch the game in which LSU beat Alabama 46-41.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The streak died right where it started, banished to the past by an Ohio quarterback who is now the champion of Louisiana.
Court records obtained by AL.com say that Fulkerson, a 31-year-old from Tuscumbia, Alabama, was cheering for Alabama and Merritt was cheering for LSU. When Merritt called a football player an expletive, Fulkerson thought he had said it to him and grabbed his gun.
Fulkerson’s defense attorney has claimed that the shooting was in self-defense, evidenced by a black eye he suffered. However, one witness told authorities that she watched Fulkerson hit himself in the face.
Merritt’s sister, Whitney Myrick, started a “Justice for Mikey #MikeyStrong” Facebook group which has more than 100 members.
“After being taken much too early, Mikie saved three lives by being an organ donor,” reads Merritt’s obituary. His funeral will be held on Friday.