Police Officer Walter G. Cottle

Police Officer Walter G. Cottle

Seattle Police Department, Washington

End of Watch Monday, September 29, 1930

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Walter G. Cottle

Police Officer Walter Cottle was shot and killed at the intersection of 12th Avenue and E Alder Street while walking his beat.

He had noticed a suspicious person walking around the area. When Officer Cottle stopped him and asked him if he lived in the neighborhood, the suspect produced a handgun and fatally shot Officer Cottle in the face.

It is believed that the suspect also fatally shot Police Officer Gene Perry on September 19, 1930.

The suspect was shot and killed by officers in Oakland, California on November 30, 1930. He was wanted for a $56,000 train robbery in Nobel, California. His weapon of choice was a rifle, and Seattle detectives later learned that the shooter had been seen in Seattle around the time of Officer Perry's shooting. The Postal Inspector in San Francisco had the shooter's rifle. Several rounds were fired through the rifle and those shell casings and the casings collected at the scene of Officer Perry's shooting were sent to a ballistics expert in Portland, Oregon. The results of ballistics tests were announced on May 1, 1932, that all of the shell casings had been fired and ejected from the shooter's rifle.

Officer Cottle was a U.S. Navy veteran of WWI and had served with the Seattle Police Department for nine years. He was survived by his wife and two children.


  • Age 41
  • Tour 9 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Shot and killed

foot patrol, suspicious person

Most Recent Reflection

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Rest well, Officer Cottle. Your memory lives on, a continent away, on the island of Martha's Vineyard, where you were born and raised.

A. Bowdoin Van Riper
Martha's Vineyard Museum

June 28, 2021

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