Seattle Police Officer Lawrence E. Kost is fatally shot by robbery suspects on December 10, 1915.

  • By David Wilma
  • Posted 5/18/2002
  • Essay 3786

On December 10, 1915, Seattle Police Officer Lawrence E. Kost (1892-1915) is fatally shot by armed robbery suspects.

Officer Kost was walking a foot beat near Boren Avenue and Terrace Street with a civilian friend, Lyle Smith, just before midnight on December 10. Kost had been with the Seattle Police Department for only a few months. The officer spotted three men he had reason to believe had just robbed a pharmacy for narcotics. Kost attempted to arrest all three by himself. In the struggle, Kost was shot in the back. Kost's companion used a call box to summon help.

Kost died two days later. Before he died, Kost identified a photograph of armed robber George W. Gunther as that of his assailant.

Two men were later arrested in San Francisco in connection with the death of a police officer there. These men admitted to killing Kost.


Rae Anna Victor, Century of Honor: Excellence and Valor in Washington State Law Enforcement (Bloomington, Indiana: 1st Books, 2000), 161-162; 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), 29.

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