Detective James L. Wells

Detective James L. Wells

Seattle Police Department, Washington

End of Watch Sunday, November 28, 1897

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James L. Wells

Detective Wells was shot and killed by a suspect he was transporting in a horse-drawn wagon to police headquarters. When they arrived at headquarters the suspect produced a handgun and shot Detective Wells. Detective Wells was able to return fire, striking the suspect. The suspect was captured a short time later.

The suspect was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 12 years hard labor. On July 26, 1908, he shot and killed a man in Ferry County. On May 28, 1909, he was apprehended in Quesne, British Columbia, after a chase through Victoria. He was returned to Washington, convicted of second degree murder, and sent back to prison.

Detective Wells had served with the Seattle Police Department for 5 years and had previously served with the King County Sheriff's Department for 2 years.


  • Age 38
  • Tour 7 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Sentenced to 12 years

Most Recent Reflection

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Thank you for your service!

Sharon Dankwardt
3rd cousin 3x removed

February 9, 2020

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