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SPD Home / Memoriam / 1900s

Line of duty deaths 1900s

ENOCH E. BREECE - End of Watch: July 3, 1902
Enoch Breece

Commission Date: 1898
Rank: Patrol Officer

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- End of Watch: September 14, 1903
Albert Schaneman

Commission Date: 1896
Rank: Patrol Officer

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 - End of Watch: September 24, 1910
Matthias Rude

Commission Date: June 6, 1910
Rank: Patrol Officer

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 - End of Watch: February 23, 1911
Judson Davis

Commission Date: Unknown
Rank: Patrol Officer

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 - End of Watch: June 17, 1911
William Cunliffe

Commission Date: January 4, 1908
Rank: Patrol Officer

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 - End of Watch: July 4, 1911
Henry Harris

Commission Date: August 19, 1910
Rank: Patrol Officer

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. RUCKART - End of Watch: December 27, 1914
Robert Litsey

Commission Date: 1913
Rank: Patrol Officer

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 - End of Watch: December 12, 1915
Lawerence Kost

Commission Date: August 10, 1915
Rank: Patrol Officer

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 - End of Watch: July 24, 1916
John Weedin

Commission Date: Unknown
Rank: Patrol Sergeant

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 - End of Watch: July 30, 1916

Commission Date: December 20, 1913
Rank: Patrol Officer

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.


EDWIN WILSON - End of Watch: September 24, 1919
Edwin Wilson

Commission Date: December, 1913
Rank: Motorcycle Officer

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.


 
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