Ballard man mistakenly kills Seattle Police Officer Arthur K. Ruckart on December 24, 1914.

  • By Dave Wilma
  • Posted 5/23/2002
  • Essay 3810
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On December 24, 1914, Ballard resident Wilfred Bagley mistakes Seattle Police Officer Arthur K. Ruckart (1887-1914) for a chicken thief and fatally shoots him.

Officer Ruckart was responding to a call concerning prowlers in the alley behind 2639 W 61st Street in Ballard when he saw a man standing on the back porch of the house there. He called to the man and when he did not answer, the officer entered the back yard through a gate. The man on the porch was Wilfred Bagley, the occupant of the house.

Bagley said he was out hunting chicken thieves and had returned home. He saw a man enter his back yard and he fired. Bagley claimed that it was dark and he could not see the officer's uniform.

Officer Ruckart was rushed to Providence Hospital where he received transfusions and his leg was amputated. But he died two days later.


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), 27.

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