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Cottle, Officer Walter G.

End of Watch: 
Monday, September 29, 1930
Seattle P.D.

During the late evening hours of Saturday, September 27, 1930, Seattle Police Officer Walter G. Cottle, 41, was walking his beat. At 12th Ave. and E. Alder St., he observed a well-dressed white male wearing glasses. Cottle approached the man, and asked him what he was doing. As Cottle started to search the subject, there was a struggle. The suspect pulled a pistol from his pocket and shot the officer twice at close range. One bullet struck the officer in the jaw and entered his neck. A second shot struck the officer in the hip. Cottle fell to the ground with his flashlight in his hand, and his pistol still in its holster. The suspect fled on foot. Two witnesses, James Ross and Maurice Rudisell, ran to the service station at 12th Ave. and E. Fir St., and called the police. Officer Cottle was unconscious when he was rushed to Virginia Mason Hospital. He did regain consciousness long enough to give fellow officers a description of the suspect and an account of the incident. Officer Cottle underwent surgery to remove a bullet from his neck. He died around 10:00 p.m. on September 29, 1930.

Several people were arrested in connection with Officer Cottle’s murder. All of them were released.

Walter Gordon Cottle was born on March 22, 1889 in North Tisbury, Massachusetts. It appears that he, his mother, and step-father moved to Seattle around 1906. In 1910, at age 21, Walter was living in Cordova, Alaska and working as a surveyor. On 9-6-1914, he married Ruth R. Thomas. That marriage ended in divorce. He served in the United States Navy during WW I. On 3-10-1920, he married Mabel E. Wyatt, and he was commissioned as a Seattle police officer on January 5, 1921. Officer Cottle was survived by his wife and two daughters.