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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, at about 9:00 AM, Seattle Police Officer Volney L. Stevens was shot and killed in the line of duty. Officer Stevens and his partner, Sergeant Edwin Herald, spotted a stolen car occupied by several people in the 3200 block of West McGraw Street. They approached the vehicle and were fired upon. Although both were hit by gunshots, they managed to return fire. Sergeant Herald survived. Officer Volney L. Stevens died at City Hospital several hours later. He was survived by his wife Helen, sons Avery, Elton and Wayne, and daughter Beryl.

Investigators later learned that the suspects were members of a Bellingham gang and were responsible for a string of robberies, burglaries, and auto thefts thoughout the Puget Sound area.


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 10:00PM, Seattle Police Detective James O'Brien was shot and killed in the line of duty. Detective O'Brien and his partner were searching downtown streets for the killer of Seattle Police Officers Neil C. McMillan and William T. Angle. The detectives spotted a man matching the description of the killer at 2nd Avenue and Columbia Street. When they identified themselves as Seattle Police Detectives, the suspect drew a handgun. Shots were exchanged and Detective O'Brien was shot. As a result, Detective James O'Brien died from his wounds. He was survived by his wife Mary and their son John.

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, at about 9:00PM, Seattle Police Officer William T. Angle was shot and killed in the line of duty. Officers Angle and Neil McMillan were walking their beat on Broadway Avenue. They stopped a suspicious person at East Harrison Street and 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 officer returned fire as the suspect fled. Officer Neil McMillian died at the scene. Officer William T. Angle died several hours later as a result of his gunshot wounds. He was survived by his pregnant wife LuLu.


NEIL C. McMILLAN - End of Watch: January 21, 1921

Commission Date: January 4, 1921
Rank: Patrol Officer

On January 21, 1921, at about 9:00PM, Seattle Police Officer Neil C. McMillan was shot and killed in the line of duty. Officers McMillan and William Angle were walking their beat on Broadway Avenue. They stopped a suspicious person at East Harrison Street and 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 officer returned fire as the suspect fled. Officer Neil C. McMillan died of his wounds at the scene. Officer Angle died several hours later.


CHARLES O. LEGATE - End of Watch: March 17, 1922
Charles Legate

Commission Date: March 1, 1907
Rank: Patrol Officer

On March 17, 1922, during the evening hours, Seattle Police Officer Charles O. Legate was killed in the line of duty. Officer Legate's body was discovered in a motor vehicle parked in the 1200 block of Main Street. He had been beaten about the head with the butt of a gun and shot twice. The suspects involved had manipulated the crime scene, leading detectives to originally believe his death was a suicide. Evidence later convinced investigators that Officer Charles O. Legate was murdered. He was survived by his wife Anna, son Charlie, and daughters Florence and Agnes.

The case remains unsolved.


ARTHUR B. LUNTSFORD - End of Watch: January 21, 1923
Arthur Luntsford

Commission Date: February 18, 1919
Rank: Patrol Officer

On January 20, 1923, at about 11:30PM, Seattle Police Officer Arthur B. Luntsford was shot and killed in the line of duty. Officer Lunstford 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 the following day. He was survived by his wife and sixteen year old daughter.


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

Commission Date: January 1, 1912
Rank: Patrol Officer

On July 5, 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 614 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 front door, 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 from multiple gunshot wounds. He was survived by his wife Elizabeth.


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 6:45AM, 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 two hours later. 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 10:15PM, Seattle Police Officer Fred Ivey was shot and killed in the line of duty. Officer Ivey was stopped on the street by a witness who told him that a gunman had just held up a drug store at 2nd Avenue and Pike Street. He and the witness searched the area, locating the suspect as he boarded a streetcar. Officer Ivey commandeered a passing car and followed the streetcar. 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 sons Quinton and Eugene.

His murder remains unsolved.


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 15, 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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