Seattle Police Officer Robert L. Litsey is fatally shot on September 24, 1924.

  • By David Wilma
  • Posted 5/17/2002
  • Essay 3788

On September 24, 1924, Seattle Police Officer Robert L. Litsey (1866-1924) is shot by one of three men near 7th Avenue and Pine Street. The officer chases the men several blocks and catches the shooter who turns out to be an old schoolmate. The man escapes and Litsey dies an hour later.

Officer Litsey had walked into a building near the public market at 7th Avenue and Pike Street to investigate three suspicious men. One of them shot at Litsey and all three ran. Litsey pursued the men to 7th Avenue and Union Street where the shooter discarded his weapon into a pile of sawdust. The wounded Litsey caught up with the shooter and recognized him as a school classmate and ex-convict by the name of Fairchild. Litsey released him, thinking he could catch him later.

Before Litsey died, he identified a man who had been arrested as one of the three, but not the shooter. Eventually, all three suspects were convicted and sentenced to prison.


Rae Anna Victor, Century of Honor: Excellence and Valor in Washington State Law Enforcement (Bloomington, IN: 1st Books, 2000), p. 168-169; Michael D. Brasfield, "An Examination of the Historical and Biographical Material Pertaining to the Violent Deaths Involving Seattle Police Officers (1881-1980)," (Undergraduate thesis, University of Washington Library, 1980), 56.

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