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Chief of Police Andrew H. Burt | Salt Lake City Police Department, Utah Salt Lake City Police Department, Utah

Chief of Police

Andrew H. Burt

Salt Lake City Police Department, Utah

End of Watch: Saturday, August 25, 1883

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 54

Tour: 24 years

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Incident Date: 8/25/1883

Weapon: Rifle; .45 caliber

Suspect: Lynched by mob

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Chief Andrew Burt was shot and killed while investigating a report of a man shooting a gun.

At approximately noon on August 25, 1883 the shooter entered a restaurant on Main Street in downtown Salt Lake City and started an argument with the proprietor, at some point drawing a revolver and aiming it at him. The owner managed to get the shooter to leave, then summoned the police to deal with the situation.

Marshal Burt, along with one Charles H. Wilckens, described by the Salt Lake Daily Tribune as a "watermaster", were the only persons at the police station when the call came in, and they responded.
Approaching First South and Main Streets, the officers were met by the restaurant owner who led them to the shooter, who still had his weapon drawn. Seeing the officers, the shooter raised the weapon, shouted "Are you an officer?", then fired before either Marshal Burt or Mr. Wilckens could answer.

Mr. Wilckens rushed up and seized the shooter, and there was a brief struggle for the weapon during which the shooter fired again, striking Wilcken's left arm near the elbow. An eyewitness standing nearby then rushed up and snatched the weapon away from the shooter as he was attempting to fire again. The shooter was then marched off to the city jail, which was located in City Hall on the north-east corner of First South and State Streets (then called 100 East; the State Capitol building wouldn't be built for another 30 years).

As for Marshal Burt, nobody knew that he had been injured. He walked away from the melee a short distance and into the nearby A.C. Smith drug store, then went behind the store counter where he collapsed and died. When it was discovered that Marshal Burt had been slain a large crowd gathered outside City Hall, demanding that the shooter be handed over to them. Fearing for the shooter's safety, the officers attempted to relocate the him to a safer location, but instead he was seized and beaten by the crowd then dragged to a nearby exposed roof beam where he was hanged, all within twenty minutes of the shooting on Main Street.

Chief Burt had been in law enforcement for 24 years and was survived by his wife.

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Andrew Hill Burt was my Great Grandfather. I have been folowing his story since childhood. My Grandmother, Florence Adella Burt was living above the jail at the time of his murder, as a toddler. When I was about 13 I took a walk with my Grandmother and she showed me the spot where is was shot.
I am in the middle of creating a web page on his life.

Raymon B. Horsley II
Great Grandson
August 30, 2012

 

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