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SPD Home / In Memoriam / 1920s

Line of duty deaths 1920s

VOLNEY L. STEVENS - End of Watch: January 14, 1921
Volney Stevens

Commission Date: May 8, 1907
Rank: Patrol Officer

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.


JAMES O'BRIEN - End of Watch: January 21, 1921
James O'Brien

Commission Date: June 12, 1910
Rank: Detective

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 - End of Watch: January 21, 1921
William T. Angle

Commission Date: December 7, 1920
Rank: Patrol Officer

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 - End of Watch: January 21, 1921
Neil C. McMillan

Commission Date: January 4, 1921
Rank: Patrol Officer

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 - End of Watch: March 17, 1922
Charles Legate

Commission Date: March 1, 1907
Rank: Patrol Officer

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 - End of Watch: January 20, 1923
Arthur Luntsford

Commission Date: February 18, 1919
Rank: Patrol Officer

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. COMER - End of Watch: July 5, 1924
Amos Comer

Commission Date: January 1, 1912
Rank: Patrol Officer

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 - End of Watch: September 25, 1924
Robert Litsey

Commission Date: December 16, 1902
Rank: Patrol Officer

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.


FRED IVEY - End of Watch: May 10, 1928
Fred Ivey

Commission Date: July 23, 1917
Rank: Patrol Officer

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 - End of Watch: September 8, 1928
Lyle Tracy

Commission Date: September 12, 1925
Rank: Motorcycle Officer

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 - End of Watch: September 15, 1928
Emory Sherard

Commission Date: November 2, 1926
Rank: Patrol Officer

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.


 
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