Armed robber fatally shoots Seattle Police Officer Gene W. Perry on September 12, 1930.

  • By David Wilma
  • Posted 5/17/2002
  • Essay 3798

On September 12, 1930, an armed robber fatally shoots Seattle Police Officer Gene W. Perry (1886-1930) at the Central Bus Terminal on 7th Avenue and Stewart Street.

Officer Perry was escorting Joseph W. McGinnis, owner of the cigar stand inside the bus terminal. McGinnis had withdrawn $7,000 in cash in preparation for cashing checks on payday. A tall man of about 45 years of age approached the two with a rifle and demanded the money. The robber fired the rifle twice, striking Perry and a bystander. The suspect fled without the money in a car driven by a second man.

Detective Joseph P. Smith arrived at the scene just as the robbers left. Smith commandeered a citizen's car and gave chase. When the robbers stopped, the man with the rifle got out and told Smith to leave. The suspects escaped.

Officer Perry died on September 21, 1930. The suspects were never arrested. Police searched for the "bespectacled, kid-glove bandit" (Brasfield, 66) and announced that they "knew the identity of the slayer" (Brasfield, 66), but no one was arrested or charged in Perry's murder. The suspects may have been involved in the murder of Officer Walter G. Cottle on September 29, 1930.


Rae Anna Victor, Century of Honor: Excellence and Valor in Washington State Law Enforcement (Bloomington, IN: 1st Books, 2000), 197-198; 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), 66.

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