In 1881, Seattle’s population was 3,553. On October 16, 1881, Seattle Police Officer David Sires was shot and killed in the line of duty. He was the first Seattle Police Officer killed in the line of duty. “David Sires died Saturday. After being shot he was insensible for a time but revived and was able to make a statement in regard to the shooting and identify his murderer as Benjamin Payne. Payne is described as a worthless loafer and desperado. Mr. Sires has led a checkered life and was known all over the northern coast as a happy, open hearted type that attached to him many friends. His murder has roused a feeling of deep indignation in Seattle, where he was a popular man and officer, and unless his slayer meets his justice at the hands of the law, the people may take the law into their own hands.”
On November 28, 1897, around 8:55 p.m., Seattle Police Officer James Wells was shot and killed in the line of duty. Officer Wells was transporting a suspect from Washington and Occidental Streets to Police Headquarters in a horse-drawn patrol wagon. When they arrived, the suspect produced a handgun and shot Wells once in the chest. Wells fell to the ground. The suspect shot at the wagon driver, Officer John Weedin, but missed. Officer Wells got to his feet, and fired at the fleeing suspect. The suspect fired again at Officer Wells, but missed. Officer Wells collapsed in the street. The suspect fled and was later captured hiding under a house near 4th Ave. S. and Main St. Officer James Wells died at the scene from a single gunshot wound. Officer Wells was un-married. He was survived by his parents and siblings. Prior to joining the Seattle Police Department, Officer Wells had been a King County Deputy Sheriff for six years.
Thomas L. Roberts
On Easter Sunday, April 10, 1898, Officer Thomas Roberts was walking his beat alone. Around 2:15 a.m., he met Officer George E. Deigh at 18th Ave. and Jefferson St. Officer Deigh walked an adjacent beat. The officers first heard, and then saw, two men walking south on 18th Ave. on the east side of the street. They stopped the two men. Officer Deigh began to question them. The shorter of the two men pulled a .44 caliber pistol from his pocket and shot Officer Roberts twice, once in the abdomen and once in the leg. The second suspect ran away immediately. Officer Deigh exchanged shots with the shooter until both their weapons were empty. Officer Deigh was shot in the wrist. The shooter fled the scene. Officer Roberts died at the scene. He was survived by his pregnant wife, Orpha, and his children, Lydia, Jesse, and Hannah.
Enoch E. Breece
On July 3, 1902 around 9:30 p.m., Seattle Police Officer Enoch E. Breece was shot and killed in the line of duty. Earlier that day near Bothell, Harry Tracy – an escapee from the Oregon State Penitentiary – had shot and killed Everett Detective Charles Raymond and wounded two other police officers. Tracy had also killed three prison guards during his escape. Information was received that Tracy was at the residence of Mrs. Van Horn at 50th St. and Phinney. King County Sheriff Edward Cudihee, Officer Breece, Neil Rowley, a miner, and J. I. Knight, a local insurance man, all set out for the Van Horn house. Harry Tracy came out of the house around 9:30 p.m. with hostages. An attempt was made to arrest him. Tracy shot Officer Breece twice. Breece died instantly. Neil Rowley was shot by friendly fire and died the next day. Harry Tracy escaped into Woodland Park. Officer Breece was survived by his wife, Hattie, and his children, Cora, Dora, and Albert.
Harry Tracy committed suicide on August 6, 1902 after he was shot and surrounded in a wheat field about 60 miles west of Spokane.
Albert C. Schaneman
On September 13, 1903, at 11:55 PM, Seattle Police Officer Albert C. Schaneman was shot and killed in the line of duty. Patrolling at Occidental and Jackson Streets, he saw two men that he believed were wanted armed robbers. As Officer Schaneman approached, the suspects separated. One suspect confronted the officer while the other came from behind and shot him in the head. Two nearby officers heard the shot and ran to the scene, finding Officer Schaneman barely alive on the ground. One officer remained with his fallen comrade while the other officer pursed the suspects. One suspect was shot and wounded. The other suspect remained at large. A horse drawn patrol wagon took Officer Albert E. Schaneman to Police Headquarters, where he died at 12:17 AM, September 14th.
Matthias H. Rude
On September 24, 1910, Seattle Police Officer Mathias Rude was killed in the line of duty. Around 10:00 a.m., Officer Rude and three other police officers were guarding about 30 prisoners working in the yard of the Seattle stockade which was located at the east end of the Yesler Building. Without warning, one prisoner struck Officer Rude in the head with a mattock, similar to a pick axe. The prisoner was serving a 63 day sentence for stealing an endorsed check and cashing it. The prisoner was subdued at the scene. Officer Rude was taken to City Hospital where a team of doctors tried to save his life. Officer Rude died at 4:10 p.m. He was survived by his wife, Olive, and his sons, Harold and Archie. Prior to joining the Seattle Police Department, Mathias Rude was a King County Deputy Sheriff for two years.
Judson P. Davis
On February 23, 1911, at about 7:00PM, Seattle Police Officer Judson P. Davis was shot and killed in the line of duty. Officer Davis and his partner were patrolling an area of the city recently plagued by armed robberies and burglaries. They contacted two males for questioning at Boylston Avenue and Denny Way. When one of the suspects produced a handgun, Officer Davis went for his sidearm. He was shot, but managed to return fire. Officer Davis shot and killed one suspect, while his partner shot and wounded the other suspect. In all, 17 shots were exchanged. Officer Judson P. Davis died on the sidewalk from his wounds.
William H. Cunliffe
On June 17, 1911, at about 1:42AM, Seattle Police Officer William H. Cunliffe was shot and killed in the line of duty. Officer Cunliffe was working his beat when he saw two men acting suspiciously. As he walked up to the pair, one of the suspects shot him. Although wounded, he managed to fire three shots at the fleeing suspects. Officer William H. Cunliffe died at the scene. He was survived by his wife, Rebecca, and his two month old daughter, Mary. Officer Cunliffe had been a Mountie with the RCMP for five years before moving to Seattle. His murder remains unsolved.
Henry L. Harris
On July 4, 1911, Seattle Police Officer Henry L. Harris was shot and killed in the line of duty. At about 9:00PM, Officer Harris was assigned to pedestrian traffic control duties in what is now referred to as the Pioneer Square section of Seattle. A crowd of about 2,000 gathered in the district to celebrate. As the officer directed traffic, a lone male approached him from behind, placed a revolver to his head, and fired. Officer Harris fell backward, pulled his service weapon, and fired 5 shots before collapsing. He was taken to City Hospital. Officer Henry L. Harris was pronounced dead at 10:00PM. His murder remains unsolved.
Arthur K. Ruckhart
On December 24, 1914, during the evening hours, Seattle Police Officer Arthur K. Ruckart was shot in the line of duty. Officer Ruckart and Officer R. J. Presho responded to a report of prowlers in the 2000 block of West 61st Street. While searching the area, Ruckart saw a man on the back porch at 2039 W. 61st St. Ruckart did not see the shotgun in his hands. The officer called out to him, telling him he wanted to talk. Ruckart got no reply from the man. As Ruckart entered the back yard, the man fired twice with a shotgun, striking the officer. Officer Ruckart returned fire, wounding the suspect. Officer Ruckart was taken to Providence Hospital. He died at 9:30 p.m. on December 27, 1914. His assailant was the homeowner who said he did not recognize Ruckart as a police officer. He thought Ruckart was a chicken thief. No charges were ever filed.
Lawrence E. Kost
On December 10, 1915, at about 11:45 PM, Seattle Police Officer Lawrence E. Kost was shot in the line of duty. Officer Kost was walking his beat near Boren Avenue and Terrace Street. He received information about an armed robbery at a nearby drug store. After obtaining the three suspects’ descriptions, he began searching the area. Minutes later, he stopped three men who resembled the robbers. One of the men produced a gun and shot the officer in the side, paralyzing him from the waist down. Officer Kost was able to fire several shots at the suspects as they fled. Officer Lawrence E. Kost was rushed to City Hospital. He died at 10:45 a.m. on 12-12-1915. No charges were ever filed in the murder of Officer Kost, but his murder was solved in 1916 with the arrests of several members of a gang in Los Angeles. One of them confessed that gang members had murdered Officer Kost when he tried to arrest them after the drug store robbery. A month before Officer Kost’s death, one of the gang members had been killed in a shoot-out which also claimed the life of a San Francisco police officer.
John F. Weedin
On July 24, 1916, during the evening hours, Seattle Police Sergeant John F. Weedin was shot and killed in the line of duty. Sergeant Weedin and Officer Robert Wiley off-duty and traveling to the University District in a private automobile belonging to another officer. A citizen stopped them to report that he had been accosted by a man with a gun. Officer Wiley exited the car and approached the suspect in the 2100 block of Westlake Avenue. The suspect produced a handgun and shot Officer Wiley. The gunman then turned the weapon on Sergeant Weedin, shooting him. Officer Wiley returned fire and killed the suspect. Officer Wiley died at the hospital a week later. Sergeant John F. Weedin died on arrival at the hospital. He was survived by his wife Agnes, and eight children: sons Harry, John, William, and Richard, and daughters Ivey, Daphne, Joy, and Beltha.
Nineteen years earlier, Sergeant Weedin had also been the driver of the wagon that had been shot at during the incident that led to line of duty death of Officer James Wells in 1897.
Robert R. Wiley
On July 24, 1916, during the evening hours, Seattle Police Officer Robert R. Wiley was shot in the line of duty. Officer Wiley and Sergeant John Weedin were off-duty and traveling to the University District in a private automobile belonging to another officer. A citizen stopped them to report that he had been accosted by a man with a gun. Officer Wiley approached the suspect in the 2100 block of Westlake Avenue. The suspect produced a handgun and shot Officer Wiley. The gunman then turned the weapon on Sergeant Weedin and shot him. Officer Wiley returned fire and killed the suspect. Sergeant Weedin was pronounced dead on arrival at City Hospital. Officer Robert R. Wiley was taken to City Hospital and transferred to Providence Hospital the next day. Officer Wiley died at Providence Hospital on 7-30-1916. He was survived by his wife, Etta, and his son, Robert E. Wiley.
On September 24, 1919, at about 3:30AM, Seattle Police Officer Edwin Wilson died in the line of duty. Officer Wilson had completed a call involving shots fired and was returning to headquarters. Traveling westbound in the 1200 block of Madison Street, his police motorcycle hit an unknown object in the road. The motorcycle slid along the curb for about 30 feet and collided with a pole. He was taken by patrol wagon to Providence Hospital. Officer Edwin Wilson died of massive injuries less than an hour later. He was survived by his parents and siblings including his brother, Seattle Police Officer Rollo Wilson. Officer Edwin Wilson was the first SPD motorcycle officer to be killed in the line of duty.
On January 14, 1921, around 9:00 a.m., Seattle Police Officer Volney L. Stevens was shot and killed in the line of duty. Officer Stevens and his partner, Sergeant Edwin Herald, had been dispatched from the Ballard Precinct to a call of a suspicious and unoccupied vehicle on 32nd Ave. W. between W. McGraw and Magnolia Blvd. When the officers arrived, they saw that the vehicle, which was stolen, was occupied by four men. When Sgt. Herald approached the car, he was accosted by an armed suspect. When Officer Stevens went to help his partner, two other suspects started shooting at him. Officer Stevens was shot twice but returned fire, hitting two suspects before he collapsed. Sgt. Herald was not injured. The suspects escaped in the officers’ patrol car. All four suspects were captured about one hour later in a stolen boat in Salmon Bay. One of the suspects, shot by Officer Stevens, died. Officer Volney L. Stevens died at City Hospital at 12:20 p.m. He was survived by his wife Helen, sons Avery, Elton and Wayne, and daughter Beryl.
On January 21, 1921, at about 10:00 PM, Seattle Police Detective James O’Brien was shot and killed in the line of duty. Detective O’Brien and his partner, T. J. Montgomery, were searching downtown streets for the man who shot Seattle Police Officers Neil C. McMillan and William T. Angle. The detectives spotted a man matching the description of the suspect at 2nd Avenue and Cherry Street. When they identified themselves as Seattle Police Detectives, the suspect drew a handgun. Shots were exchanged and Detective O’Brien was shot. Detective James O’Brien was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital. He was survived by his wife, Mary, and their children, John, Wilford, James, and Mary. Six days later, the suspect was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death.
William T. Angle
On January 21, 1921, around 8:45 p.m., Seattle Police Officer William T. Angle and Neil C. McMillan were shot in the line of duty. Officers Angle and Neil McMillan were walking their beat on Broadway Avenue. They stopped a suspicious person on Broadway and south of Mercer St. Officer Angle began checking him for weapons. The suspect produced a handgun and fired twice at Officer Angle. The suspect turned his weapon on Officer McMillan and shot him. Although wounded, the officers returned fire as the suspect fled. Officer William T. Angle died at City Hospital at 11:45 p.m. on 1-22-1921. He was survived by his pregnant wife Lulu.
Neil C. McMillan
On January 21, 1921, around 8:45 p.m., Seattle Police Officer William T. Angle and Neil C. McMillan were shot in the line of duty. Officers Angle and McMillan were walking their beat on Broadway Avenue. They stopped a suspicious person on Broadway and south of Mercer St. Officer Angle began checking him for weapons. The suspect produced a handgun and fired twice at Officer Angle. The suspect turned his weapon on Officer McMillan and shot him. Although wounded, the officers returned fire as the suspect fled. Officer Neil McMillian died at Minor Hospital on 1-24-1921. Officer McMillan was survived by his parents and siblings. Before joining the Seattle Police Department, he was a police officer in Vancouver, B.C. for five years
Charles O. Legate
On March 17, 1922, between 1:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m., Seattle Police Officer Charles O. Legate was killed in the line of duty. Officer Legate’s body was discovered in a motor vehicle parked inside a locked garage at 1242 Main Street. He had been beaten about the head with the butt of a gun and shot twice. His death was originally investigated as a homicide. An inquest ruled his death a suicide. A grand jury later ruled the death a homicide. He was survived by his wife Anna, son Charlie, and daughters Florence and Agnes.
Arthur B. Luntsford
On January 15, 1923, at about 11:30 PM, Seattle Police Officer Arthur B. Luntsford was shot in the line of duty. Officer Luntsford and his partner were told that two individuals in the area were planning to commit a robbery in the downtown business district. The officers and a witness came upon the suspects a short time later near 1st Avenue and Pine Street. When the officers stopped the two, one of the suspects produced a handgun and shot Officer Luntsford three times. Before the other officer could react, the assailant shot himself and died at the scene. Officer Arthur B. Luntsford died from his wounds at Swedish Hospital during the evening hours of January 20, 1923. He was survived by his wife, Katie, and sixteen year old daughter, Gertrude.
Amos J. Cormer
On July 4, 1924, during the evening hours, Seattle Police Officer Amos J. Comer was shot and killed in the line of duty. Officer Comer responded to a disturbance at the Business Men’s Club at 614½ Jackson Street. When the officer arrived, witnesses told him the suspect threatened to “Shoot the first guy who bothers me.” Officer Comer checked inside but was unable to locate the suspect. He returned to the sidewalk in front, where moments later, the suspect appeared. As Officer Comer searched the man, the suspect produced a revolver and shot him twice. When Officer Comer fell to the ground, the man tried to physically attack him but was restrained by witnesses. The suspect fled the scene. Officer Amos J. Comer died at City Hospital during the evening hours of July 5, 1924. He was survived by his wife Elizabeth, and his children, Louis, Alta, Etta, and Ruth.
Robert L. Litsey
On September 25, 1924, at about 6:45 AM, Seattle Police Officer Robert L. Litsey was shot and killed in the line of duty. Officer Litsey was summoned by the Public Market Watchman who was concerned about three men acting suspiciously. The suspects were loitering at the top of a staircase inside the business at 1609 7th Avenue. Officer Litsey went to the bottom of the staircase and called up to the suspects. One of the suspects opened fire, shooting him. The three suspects fled, but were captured soon after. Officer Robert L. Litsey was taken to City Hospital where he died 12 hours later at 8:45 PM. He was survived by his wife Pamela, sons Audrey and Robert, and daughter Edna.
On May 10, 1928, at about 10:15 PM, Seattle Police Officer Fred Ivey was shot and killed in the line of duty. Officer Ivey was stopped on the street in Times Square by a witness who told him that a gunman had just held up a drug store at 2nd Avenue and Pike Street. The witness, along with a citizen in a car, had followed the suspect and observed him get on a street car. Officer Ivey jumped in their car, and the three followed the street car. At the next stop, Westlake Avenue North and Roy Street, Officer Ivey approached the coach. The suspect opened fire, shooting him. The suspect then fled the scene. Officer Fred Ivey died at the scene. He was survived by his wife Catherine, and his children, Quentin, Eugene, and Dolores. Officer Ivey’s murderer was shot and killed by Seattle police officers during an armed robbery in January 1929.
Lyle F. Tracy
On September 4, 1928, Officer Lyle Tracy was preparing to go on duty at Police Headquarters, 400 Yesler Way. His duty weapon fell out of its holster and discharged when it hit the floor. The bullet struck Officer Tracy in the neck and lodged in his spine. Officer Tracy died during the morning hours of September 7, 1928. He was survived by his wife, Sadie, his parents, and siblings including Seattle Police Officer Irwin Tracy.
Emory R. Sherard
On September 14, 1928, during the evening hours, Seattle Police Officer Emory R. Sherard was shot and killed in the line of duty. Officer Sherard was patrolling the University District when he saw three suspicious men in a drug store. Officer Sherard approached them. They ran towards a parked car in the 4700 block of University Way, which was subsequently found to be stolen. Shots were exchanged between the officer and the suspects, wounding Officer Sherard. The suspects fled the scene. Officer Emory R. Sherard was taken to City Hospital where he died four hours later. He was survived by his wife Francis, sons James and Ted, and daughter Dorothy.
Detectives later discovered that the trio was responsible for eight armed robberies which had occurred that night.
Eugene W. Perry
On September 12, 1930, at about 10:45 AM, Seattle Police Officer Eugene W. Perry was shot in the line of duty. Officer Perry was assigned to guard a courier who was in possession of a large amount of cash. They were going to the Central Terminal Station at 8th Avenue and Stewart Street. When Officer Perry and the courier arrived, a man with a rifle appeared. The suspect ordered the officer to surrender. When Officer Perry reached for his service weapon, the suspect shot him twice. The gunman fled the scene. Officer Perry was taken to the hospital by a passerby. Officer Eugene W. Perry died on September 21, 1930. He was survived by his wife Lillian and his son, Ted.
Walter G. Cottle
On September 27, 1930, around 9:45 PM, Seattle Police Officer Walter G. Cottle was shot in the line of duty. Officer Cottle was walking his beat and noticed a suspicious person at 12th Avenue and East Alder Street. He stopped the man and asked him if he lived in the neighborhood. The suspect produced a handgun and shot Officer Cottle twice, once in the jaw and once in the hip. The suspect ran from the scene. Officer Walter G. Cottle was taken to Virginia Mason Hospital where he died around 10:00 p.m. on September 29, 1930. He was survived by his two daughters, Harriett and Jean
Harold E.S. Williams
On August 2, 1931, at about 3:00 AM, Seattle Police Officer Harold E.S. Williams was shot and killed in the line of duty. Officer Williams was off-duty and visiting some friends in a room at the Manzanita Hotel, 1607 1st Avenue. Two men, one with a gun, knocked on the door of the room. An argument erupted into a gun battle. During the exchange of shots, the officer’s weapon jammed. The suspect continued shooting, and a bullet struck Officer Williams. Seven people at the hotel were arrested. Officer Harold E.S. Williams died around 4:30 p.m. He was survived by his wife Sophie and his daughter Harriette. Two men were charged with the officer’s murder, but the charges were dropped.
Ralph H. Ahner
On September 9, 1932, during the night time hours, Seattle Police Officer Ralph H. Ahner was injured in the line of duty. Officer Ahner was assigned to the traffic division. While he was pursuing a traffic violator, his motorcycle collided with an automobile at 4th Avenue South and South Horton Street. Officer Ralph H. Ahner was taken to the hospital. Officer Ahner died at 1:00 a.m. on September 13, 1932. He was survived by his wife Florence, a stepson, and siblings including Seattle Police Officer Ted Ahner.
Ellsworth W. Cordes
On December 31, 1932, during the afternoon hours, Seattle Police Motorcycle Officer Ellsworth W. Cordes died in the line of duty. Officer Cordes was assigned to the traffic division. He was operating his police motorcycle on 1st Avenue South when he collided with a streetcar at South Horton Street. The officer was thrown sixty feet from his motorcycle. Officer Ellsworth W. Cordes died at the scene. He was survived by his wife Lena and two year old daughter Phyllis.
Coincidentally, this accident occurred only three blocks from another police motorcycle fatality, that one involving Officer Cordes’ partner, Ralph Ahner, who was killed three and a half months earlier.
Olof F. Wilson
On March 31, 1935, at 10:06 PM, Seattle Police Officer Olof F. Wilson was killed in the line of duty. He was working in a patrol car. He had just used a call box at 15th Avenue West and Dravus St. As he was crossing 15th Avenue W. to return to his patrol car, he was struck by a speeding automobile which was driven by a drunk driver. The impact hurled him 129 feet. The suspect fled, but was arrested a short distance away. Officer Olof F. Wilson died at the scene from massive injuries. He was survived by his wife Oka, son Albert, and daughter Fayetta.
Trent A. Sickles
On November 26, 1935, at 4:55 AM, Seattle Police Officer Trent A. Sickles was shot and killed in the line of duty. Officer Sickles and his partner, Officer Theodore E. Stevens, were working the north end of Seattle when they received a report of a burglary in progress at a tavern at 8904 Roosevelt Way Northeast. At that time, the north city limits extended only to 85th St. The officers responded to back Sheriff’s Deputies, but were the first to arrive on scene. Officer Sickles went to the front door as Officer Stevens covered the rear of the tavern. Stevens joined his partner after finding the back door padlocked. The front door had been pried open. Both officers entered the tavern. Almost immediately, Officer Sickles was shot twice and died instantly. Officer Stevens was shot in the abdomen but was able to return fire. He died in the hospital at 9:15 a.m. on September 27, 1935.
Theodore E. Stevens
On November 26, 1935, at 4:55 AM, Seattle Police Officer Theodore Stevens was shot in the line of duty. Officer Stevens and his partner, Officer Trent Sickles, were working the north end of Seattle when they received a report of a burglary in progress at a tavern at 8904 Roosevelt Way Northeast. At that time, the north city limits extended only to 85th St. The officers responded to back Sheriff’s Deputies, but were the first to arrive on scene. Officer Sickles went to the front door as Officer Stevens covered the rear of the tavern. Stevens joined his partner after finding the back door padlocked. The front door had been pried open. Both officers entered the tavern. Almost immediately, Officer Sickles was shot twice and died instantly. Officer Stevens was shot in the abdomen but was able to return fire. He died in the hospital at 9:15 a.m. on September 27, 1935.
Con B. Anderson
On September 27, 1936, at about 9:10 AM, Seattle Police Officer Con B. Anderson died in the line of duty. Officer Anderson was at the Ballard Police Station conducting routine business when his revolver accidentally discharged after striking the floor. The bullet struck Officer Anderson in the neck and he was rushed to Ballard General Hospital. Officer Con B. Anderson died at 9:30 AM. He was survived by his wife Alice, a daughter Doris, a son Raymond, and siblings including Seattle Police Officer Reiff Anderson.
Fred H. Hull
On November 15, 1945, at about midnight, Seattle Police Officer Fred H. Hull was shot and killed in the line of duty. Officer Ralph Osborne and his partner, Officer Charles Dean, responded to a report of a man brandishing a knife in a tavern. The officers located the man at a nearby service station at 19th Avenue East and East Madison Street. The suspect was found sitting in the office. Officer Fred Hull and his partner, Officer Thomas Magnussen, responded as backup. Officers ordered the suspect out. The suspect pulled a gun, and fired a handgun through the glass. Officer Osborne was shot in the foot, and went down. Officer Hull stepped between the suspect and Osborne. Hull was shot three times and fell to the ground. Officer Dean shot and killed the suspect after the suspect had retreated to a service bay. Officer Osborn survived his wound. Officer Fred H. Hull died at the scene. He was survived by his wife, Hazel, and sons Ronald and Raymond.
William T. Rumble
On October 28, 1947, at about 4:45 AM, Seattle Police Officer William T. Rumble was injured in the line of duty. Officer Rumble was on-duty in downtown Seattle when another vehicle struck his patrol car at 5th Avenue and Pine Street. The impact ejected Officer Rumble from his vehicle and onto the pavement. He was then run over by his own patrol car. Officer William T. Rumble was taken to Swedish Hospital, where he died during the evening hours of October 29, 1947. He was survived by his wife Ailene, and two daughters Judith Ann and Maureen.
Harry W. Vosper
On July 21, 1949, around 12:40 a.m., Seattle Police Detective Harry W. Vosper was shot and killed in the line of duty. Detective Vosper responded to a barricaded man call in the 300 block of 22nd Avenue. The suspect had assaulted his wife and shot a neighbor and a tow truck driver because he was enraged about an earlier court decision not to rescind his $50 monthly support payment to his estranged wife. The suspect exchanged gunfire with officers. When he refused to surrender, tear gas was dropped inside the house and the suspect came out shooting. Detective Vosper stepped between the suspect and another detective. Vosper was shot once. Detective Harry W. Vosper was rushed to Harborview County Hospital where he was pronounced dead. He was survived by his wife, Bernice
John T. Clancy
On December 24, 1949, at about 11:40 PM, Seattle Police Officer John T. Clancy was injured in the line of duty. Officer Clancy was riding his police motorcycle on Aurora Avenue North at Galer St. when he was hit by a drunk driver. Officer John T. Clancy was taken to Harborview County Hospital. He never regained consciousness, and died at 1:30 AM on December 28, 1949 He was survived by his wife Norma Jean, and his son, Michael.
On March 12, 1954, at about 11:00 AM, Seattle Police Officer Frank Hardy was shot and killed in the line of duty. Officers responded to a bank robbery alarm at the SeaFirst Bank, Greenwood Branch, in the 8500 block of Greenwood Avenue North. Three suspects were robbing the bank. Officer Hardy and Officer Vernon Chase took up positions outside the bank as Sergeant Howard Slessman approached the bank’s west door. Sergeant Slessman was shot by one of the suspects who fired through the glass door. The same suspect started walking through the bank lobby and towards the east exit when he looked through a window and saw Officer Hardy outside. He fired a shot through the window which hit Officer Hardy in the head. When the same suspect exited the bank through the east door, he shot and wounded Officer Chase.
All three officers were shot with the same gun. The suspects fled in a stolen vehicle. In their haste, they dropped a money bag containing $90,000.
Officer Chase and Sergeant Slessman survived their injuries. Officer Frank Hardy was taken to Harborview County Hospital, where he died. Officer Hardy was survived by his pregnant wife, Rolene, and his daughter, Antoinette.
James C. Brizendine
On July 21, 1955, at about 1:00 AM, Seattle Police Officer James C. Brizendine was shot and killed in the line of duty. Officer Brizendine and his partner were investigating a report of a prowler in the 4200 block of 4th Avenue Northeast. Upon arrival, they searched the yard in question. When Officer Brizendine reached an adjoining yard, he walked toward the house, shining his flashlight. The homeowner, alerted by his neighbor that there was a prowler in the area, believed Officer Brizendine was the prowler. The homeowner stated that when the flashlight hit his eyes, he thought he was going to be shot. He fired a single shotgun blast, striking Officer Brizendine in the abdomen. Officer James C. Brizendine was taken to Harborview County Hospital, where he died forty-five minutes later. He was survived by his wife Edna and two daughters.
David P. Richards
On September 1, 1967, at about 9:00AM, Seattle Police Officer David P. Richards died in the line of duty. Officer Richards was traveling with other motorcycle officers along I-5 on the last day of his motorcycle training. A witness observed that the rear tire of Officer Richards’ motorcycle was wobbling just before he left the lane and collided with a guardrail near the Bothell Way exit. Officer David P. Richards died at the scene from extensive injuries. He was survived by his wife Marianne, and two daughters Eileen and Janice.
John E. Bartlett
On March 7, 1968, at about 9:30 PM, Seattle Police Officer John E. Bartlett was injured in the line of duty. Officer Bartlett stopped a traffic violator on Aurora Avenue North and North Motor Place. He was standing by the offender’s door when a passing truck swerved around his patrol car and drove into the lane where he was standing. The truck mirror struck Officer Bartlett, throwing him ten feet. The suspect fled, but was arrested a short time later. Officer John E. Bartlett was taken to University Hospital, where he died at 4:42 PM on March 9, 1968. He was survived by his wife Barbara, his children Bruce and Karen, and his brother, Seattle Police Officer Bill Bartlett.
Robert R. Allshaw
On November 11, 1968, shortly after 8:00 PM, Seattle Police Officer Robert R. Allshaw was shot and killed in the line of duty. Officer Allshaw was at the scene of a robbery in progress at the IGA grocery store at 11552 15th Avenue Northeast. There were two suspects. Officer Allshaw managed to disarm and handcuff one before exchanging shots with the second suspect who was shot in the abdomen. As Officer Allshaw pushed his handcuffed prisoner into the view of other officers, he was tragically shot by one of those officers. Officer Robert R. Allshaw was taken to Northwest Hospital where he was pronounced dead. He was survived by his wife Suzanne, daughter, Terry, and son, Daniel. All the suspects were captured.
Robert D. Ward
On May 15, 1969, at about 3:35AM, Seattle Police Sergeant Robert D. Ward was killed in the line of duty. Sergeant Ward, Officer Pankey, and Officer Greiner were patrolling in Sergeant Ward’s vehicle. Upon hearing a vehicle pursuit, they proceeded into the area. When Sergeant Ward saw the suspect vehicle approaching, he activated his emergency lights. Suddenly, the suspect vehicle swerved into the patrol car’s lane and the vehicles collided head on in the 1000 block of 1st Avenue South. The two passenger officers were severely injured, as was the passenger of the suspect vehicle. The driver of the suspect vehicle was killed. Sergeant Robert D. Ward was taken to Harborview County Hospital, where he was pronounced dead forty minutes later. He was survived by three children.
Fred D. Carr
On February 25, 1973, around 4:00 AM, Seattle Police Officer Fred D. Carr was shot and killed in the line of duty. Officer Carr and three other officers responded to a man with a shotgun call in the 600 block of 15th Avenue East. When they arrived at the house, a group of people met them outside, saying the individual with the gun was inside. After the officers entered the home, the suspect jumped from a hallway closet and opened fire. His shot did not hit any officer. Officers returned fire and killed the suspect, but a shotgun round fired by another officer hit Officer Carr. Officer Fred D. Carr died at the scene. He was survived by his parents, seven sisters, and three brothers.
James M. Forbes
On June 21, 1974, during the afternoon, Seattle Police Officer James M. Forbes died in the line of duty. Officer Forbes was a Police Helicopter Observer in “Air 3,” which was piloted by Officer James St. Delore. The officers were responding to a shooting in the south end of the city. As they flew above Beacon Hill, the helicopter collided with a Cessna 150 that was landing at Boeing Field. The mid-air collision killed both officers and the two occupants of the plane. Officer James M. Forbes was survived by his wife Belva, sons John and Jack, and daughter Jennifer.
James H. St. Delore
On June 21, 1974, during the afternoon, Seatttle Police Officer James H. St. Delore died in the line of duty. Officer St. Delore was a Police Helicopter Pilot in “Air 3,” and the Observer was Officer James M. Forbes. The officers were responding to a shooting in the south end of the city. As they flew above Beacon Hill, the helicopter collided with a Cessna 150 that was landing at Boeing Field. The mid-air collision killed both officers and the two occupants of the plane. Officer James H. St. Delore was survived by his wife Phyllis, son Jeffery, and daughter Jennifer.
Jerry L. Wyant
On October 26, 1976, at about noon, Seattle Police Officer Jerry L. Wyant died in the line of duty. He was on patrol, riding his motorcycle, when he was hit by a delivery truck in the intersection of 1st Avenue South and South Dawson Street. Officer Wyant was thrown 22 feet. His motorcycle landed on top of him. Officer Jerry L. Wyant was taken to Harborview Medical Center, where he died during surgery. He was survived by his wife Connie, a daughter Wendy, and two sons John and Steve.
Dorian L. Halvorson
On September 23, 1976, around 11:30 PM, Seattle Police Officer Dorian L. Halvorson was shot in the line of duty. Officer Halvorson and two other officers responded to a call at a house in the 9200 block of 17th Avenue Southwest. Officers believed a young woman was at that address with the suspect from an earlier King County shooting incident, and that the woman might be in some danger. Officers arrived and approached the basement door. The door opened and the young woman stepped out. Officer Halvorson ran down the stairwell and pushed the woman up the stairs to safety. The suspect, standing just inside the doorway, shot the officer once in the head. The other officers returned fire. Officer Dorian L. Halvorson was rushed to Harborview Hospital where he died at 5:00 AM on September 24, 1976. He was survived by his wife Judy.
On December 18, 1984, at about 6:25AM, Seattle Police Officer Nick Davis was shot and killed in the line of duty. Officer Davis was working a prowler car in the the First Hill area of the city. As he approached the International House of Pancakes at 950 East Madison Street, he saw one of the restaurant employees chasing a man. The employee told the officer that the suspect fled after failing to pay his $4.55 food bill. Officer Davis radioed for back up and approached the suspect. A struggle ensued and the suspect was able to take Officer Davis’ revolver. The suspect shot Officer Davis twice. The suspect fled, but was captured a short distance away. Officer Nick Davis died 30 minutes later at Harborview Medical Center. He was survived by his wife Stacie and his three sons Jeff, Jim, and Jerry.
On April 23, 1985, around 11:30 AM, Seattle Police Officer Dale Eggers was shot and killed in the line of duty. Officer Eggers was working an off-duty job at the SeaFirst Bank, Beacon Hill Branch, when a lone gunman entered and robbed the teller at Window #2. As the suspect was leaving the bank, he saw Officer Eggers at a desk using the telephone. From a distance of about 10 feet, he shot Officer Eggers in the back of the head with a sawed-off shotgun. Officer Dale Eggers was rushed to Harborview Hospital by Medic One. Officer Eggers died at 12:40 PM. He was survived by his daughter. On April 28, 1985, the day of Officer Eggers’ funeral, Bellingham PD SWAT apprehended his killer.
On June 4, 1994, at about 1:30AM, Seattle Police Detective Antonio Terry was shot and killed in the line of duty. Detective Terry was exiting I-5 near Boeing field, at the Swift-Albro exit, when he happened upon an occupied disabled vehicle. Detective Terry stopped his unmarked police car behind the disabled vehicle. One of the suspects recognized him as a police officer and opened fire, wounding him. The suspects fled the scene. Detective Terry managed to drive himself nearly two miles to the South Precinct where fellow officers summoned aid. Detective Antonio Terry was taken to Harborview Hospital where he died at 4:01AM. He was survived by his wife Cheryl, two sons, Austin and Colton, and daughter Vanessa.
Kenneth L. Davis
On May 11, 1995, during the early morning hours, Seattle Police Officer Kenneth L. Davis was killed in the line of duty. As he left the North Precinct in his personal vehicle, a Washington State Patrol Trooper was stopping a Corvette for a traffic violation at an I-5 off-ramp. As the Trooper approached the vehicle, it sped off. The Trooper pursued the vehicle. The fleeing suspect drove recklessly through side streets until he blew through the intersection at North 107th Street and Meridian Avenue North, colliding with Officer Davis’ vehicle. The suspect fled the scene on foot. Containment was set up and a K-9 unit was able to locate the suspect, who was taken into custody. Officer Kenneth L. Davis died instantly at the scene. He was survived by his wife Renie, and two sons Zachary and Rick.
Gary Lindell spent a long career at with the Seattle Police Department, working as a Patrol Officer until he was promoted to Detective in 1972. In 1997 he joined the mounted patrol (horse) unit. In March of 1999, Gary fell from his horse during a training exercise and sustained a head injury, requiring him to be hospitalized for three weeks in critical condition. Officer Lindell survived the accident, but the effects from the fall caused him to retire in November 1999. He came back to SPD as a civilian employee, working as an evidence warehouser and then a utility laborer. In March of 2002, lingering complications from his earlier head injury caused his death. He is survived by his wife of 38 years, three children, and two granddaughters.
Jackson V. Lone
On March 16, 2005, Harbor Patrol Officer Jackson Lone was responding to a call on the Lake Union waterway. He went ashore to tie off a tugboat and fell into the water. He was pulled from the water by his partner, and response crews from Harbor Patrol and the North Precinct began CPR. Officer Lone was treated by the Seattle Fire Department medics at the scene and then transported to Harborview Medical Center, where he later died. Officer Lone, 39 years of age and an 18-year veteran of the Seattle Police Department, worked in a variety of assignments including patrol in the East Precinct, Narcotics Unit and Fugitive Warrants Unit, as well as a year-long assignment with the DEA Task Force. Officer Lone is survived by his wife and his 18-month old son.
Joselito A. “Lito” Barber
On Sunday, August 13, 2006, at 4:09 AM, East Precinct Officer Joselito Barber was on routine patrol in the Central District. While entering an intersection on a green light, a speeding SUV ran the red light and collided with his patrol car. Officer Barber was unresponsive at the scene and was transported to Harborview Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. He was 26 years old.
A recent graduate of the police academy, Officer Barber was commissioned as a police officer on Jan 31, 2006. Officer “Lito” Barber was described by his family as loving his job as a police officer, and that joining the SPD was a realization of his goals. Friends remember him as kind-hearted and “always smiling.” Fellow officers remember Officer Barber as caring, conscientious and enthusiastic. Officer Barber’s sudden and tragic loss will be greatly felt in the community he served and he will be deeply missed by his large network of family, friends and co-workers.
Timothy Q. Brenton
On Saturday, October 31, 2009 Field Training Officer Timothy Brenton was discussing a just completed traffic stop with his trainee, Officer Britt Sweeney, at the corner of 29th Avenue and East Yesler Way. A vehicle approaching from the rear pulled alongside the patrol car. Occupant(s) of this vehicle opened fire on the officers, killing Officer Brenton instantly. Officer Sweeney suffered grazing injuries with at least one bullet ripping her shirt and ballistic vest. She was able to broadcast the situation on her radio, get out of the patrol car, and return fire several times.
Officer Brenton comes from a family dedicated to public service; his father and uncle are both retired Seattle Police Officers and his brother in law is a Seattle Firefighter. Officer Brenton first served in the US Army as a veteran of the first Gulf War, followed by service in the Hoquiam and La Connor Police Departments. In 2000, he fulfilled his lifelong dream of following in his father’s footsteps by joining the Seattle Police Department.
Office Brenton is remembered for his quick wit and intelligence. He loved being a police officer and loved sharing his knowledge with others through Field Training. He is survived by his wife, an 11-year-old daughter and an 8-year-old son.