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Comer, Officer Amos J.
End of Watch:
Saturday, July 5, 1924
On July 4, 1924, during the evening hours, Mr. E. M. Martini, manager of the Business Men’s Club at 614 ½ S. Jackson St., called police headquarters and reported a male was inside the club creating a disturbance. The suspect had told J. H. Fears, the cook at the club, that he would shoot the first guy that bothered him. Martini provided a description of the suspect, but not the suspect’s name. The suspect was L. E. Mosley, an ex-convict who was released from Walla Walla Penitentiary one month earlier.
Officer Amos J. Comer, 46, responded to the club. He searched inside the club, but did not locate the suspect. Comer left the building. He was standing on the sidewalk when Mosley came out of the club. Comer knew Mosley and he matched the description of the man causing the disturbance. Officer Comer confronted Mosley and started to search him. Mosley pulled a revolver from his pocket and shot the officer twice. One bullet hit the officer in the wrist. The other bullet struck just below the officer’s heart. Mosley jumped on the officer and started to beat him. The cook from the club, Mr. Fears, pulled Mosley off the officer. Mosley pointed his gun at Fears and pulled the trigger. The gun misfired, and Mosley ran away. Officer Comer was rushed to City Hospital. He and witnesses were able to identify Mosley as the shooter. Officer Comer underwent surgery at midnight. Doctors gave him a slight chance of recovering, but he died during the evening of July 5, 1924. He was survived by his widow, Elizabeth; three adult children, Louis, Alta, Etta; and an 8 year-old daughter, Ruth. Officer Comer’s funeral was held on July 9, 1924. Hundreds of Seattle’s citizens turned out to pay their respects to one of their police officers. Officer Comer is buried at Evergreen Cemetery.
Seattle detectives located and arrested Mosley on July 7, 1924. He was asleep at a rooming house in Tacoma. A revolver was under his pillow. Mosley had been released from Walla Walla Penitentiary in June 1924 after serving a ten year sentence for murdering a Japanese sailor in Tacoma. He had also served time at Folsom State Prison in California. Mosley was tried and convicted for Officer Comer’s murder. L. E. Mosley was hanged at the Walla Walla Penitentiary on 2-19-1926.
Amos John Comer was born on February 22, 1878 in Homer, Missouri. Amos married Sarah Elizabeth Worden on 3-2-1897 in Worth, MO. Three of their children, Louis, Alta, and Etta Comer, were born in Missouri. The first record of the Comers living in Seattle is in 1907. Amos was a Teamster before being commissioned as a Seattle police officer on January 1, 1912.