California · Newspaper clippings

Alfalfa actor fatally shot in groin during a fight over reward money for lost dog

January 21, 1959
Los Angeles, California
Carl Switzer, best remembered as Alfalfa from Our Gang, also known as The Little Rascals, is shot to death during an argument over $50

The debt in question involves a hunting dog belonging to Moses Stiltz which ran off while Switzer trained it. Switzer offered a $35 reward to anyone who found it and, when a man came forward with the dog, Switzer gave the man $35 and bought him $15 worth of drinks. At some point, Switzer as a friend decided Stiltz should pay him back for the reward and set off to Stiltz’s house.

When Switzer attempted to collect on the debt, Stiltz grabbed a gun to defend himself. Switzer drew a knife in response and Stiltz claimed he had no choice but to shoot and kill Switzer. The gunshot struck Switzer in the groin which caused massive internal bleeding and he was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital. The incident was ruled as justifiable homicide though some, including Stiltz’s stepson who witnessed the shooting, believe the shooting was more akin to murder than self-defense, claiming Stiltz approached and shot the unarmed Switzer as he attempted to leave the home.

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