Officer Nicholas N. Davis is murdered by a mentally disturbed drifter on December 18, 1984.

  • By David Wilma
  • Posted 5/22/2002
  • Essay 3817
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On December 18, 1984, Seattle Police Officer Nicholas N. Davis is murdered by Michael Robert Trott, an unemployed drifter later determined to be suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. Davis had stopped Trott for questioning about his failure to pay a $4.55 breakfast tab.

Officer Davis had been called to the International House of Pancakes at 950 E Madison Street on a complaint that a patron had failed to pay a bill. Davis, in his patrol car and accompanied by a restaurant employee, encountered Michael Trott in the parking lot of a real estate office at 10th Avenue and E Madison Street. As Davis called for a backup, Trott struggled with him. The microphone cord broke and Davis fell to the ground. Trott got Davis' gun and shot him twice.

Experts later testified that Trott suffered from chronic paranoid schizophrenia and was off his medication at the time of the shooting. Trott was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to 27 years in prison.

On March 10, 2003, Trott was due to be released from prison due to good behavior after serving 19 years of his sentence. Authorities kept him in custody because he was deemed a "dangerously mentally ill offender" (Seattle P-I).

He will remain confined to a state mental hospital, where his mental health will be reviewed at regular intervals to determine whether he continues to fit the criteria to remain committed.


Rae Anna Victor, Century of Honor: Excellence and Valor in Washington State Law Enforcement (Bloomington, IN: 1st Books, 2000), 116; Eric Nalder, Joe Quintana, The Seattle Times, December 19, 1984, p. B-1; Julie Emery, Ibid., July 26, 1985, p. C-1; Tracy Johnson, "Man Who Killed Officer Won't Be Freed," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, March 7, 2002 (

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