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Officer Henry L. Harris is shot and killed in Pioneer Square on July 4, 1911.
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On July 4, 1911, Seattle Police Officer Henry L. Harris (1882-1911) is shot and killed
in Pioneer Square by an unknown assailant. Investigating officers are hindered
by large numbers of intoxicated and antagonistic Fourth of July revelers. The
crime is never solved.
Officer Harris was assigned to a fixed post front of the California Tavern at Washington Street and Occidental
Avenue. Someone walked up behind him and fired a pistol. The officer was
found with a wound below his right ear and he managed to fire two shots of his
own before falling. The assailant was observed at the rear entrance to the Industrial
Workers of the World (IWW) hall, but the secretary on duty there denied that anyone
had come into the building.
Witnesses described the suspect as
"southern European, 35-40 years of age, 5'7", 170#, dark hair, wearing laborer's clothing" (Brasfield).
Officer Harris died an hour later at City Hospital.
Rae Anna Victor, Century of Honor (Bloomington, IN: 1st Books, 2000),
140-141; 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), 25.
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