Line of Duty Deaths - 1920's
Volney L. Stevens
Commission Date: May 8, 1907
Patrol Officer - Died: January, 14, 1921
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.
Investigators later learned that the suspects were members of a Bellingham gang and were responsible for a string of robberies, burglaries, and auto thefts throughout the Puget Sound area.
Commission Date: June 12, 1910
Detective - Died: January 21, 1921
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.
Six days later, the suspect was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death.
William T. Angle
Commission Date: December 7, 1920
Patrol Officer - Died: January 21, 1921
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 McMillan were walking their beat around 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 McMillan died at the scene. Officer William T. Angle died several hours later as a result of his gunshot wounds.
Commission Date: January 4, 1907
Patrol Officer - Died: January 21, 1921
On January 21, 1921, at about 9:00PM, Seattle Police Officer Neil McMillan was shot and killed in the line of duty. Officer McMillan and William Angle were walking their beat around on Broadway Avenue. They stopped a suspicious person at East Harrison Street and begun 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 McMillan died at the scene. Officer William T. Angle died several hours later.
Charles O. Legate
Commission Date: March 1, 1907
Patrol Officer - Died: March 17, 1922
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.
The case remains unsolved.
Arthur B. Luntsford
Commission Date: February 18, 1919
Patrol Officer - Died: January 21, 1923
On January 20, 1923, at about 11:30PM, Seattle Police Officer Arthur B. Luntsford was shot and killed 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 the following day.
Amos J. Comer
Commission Date: January 1, 1912
Patrol Officer - Died: July 5, 1924
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 that 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.
Robert L. Litsey
Commission Date: December 16, 1902
Patrol Officer - Died: September 25, 1924
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 of 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 the City Hospital where he died two hours later.
Commission Date: July 23, 1917
Patrol Officer - Died: May 10, 1928
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 fled the scene. Officer Ivey died at the scene.
Lyle F. Tracy
Commission Date: September 12, 1925
Motorcycle Officer - Died: September 8, 1928
On September 7, 1928, at about 4:00PM, Seattle Police Officer Lyle F. Tracy died in the line of duty. Officer Tracy died of an accidental gunshot wound at Police Headquarters. His fatal wound occurred when his service revolver released from the holster and discharged. The bullet lodged in his spine. Officer Lyle F. Tracy died the following day.
Emory R. Sherard
Commission Date: November 2, 1926
Patrol Officer - Died: September 15, 1928
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.
Detectives later discovered that the trio was responsible for eight armed robberies which had occurred that night.