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Spokane

Jim Kershner’s this day in history

Thu., Feb. 21, 2013

From our archives, 100 years ago

The mystery over the shooting death of lumberjack Gustav Froistad, 25, deepened.

The Spokane police chief was more convinced than ever that Froistad was killed by a stray bullet fired by a Spokane police officer, who was chasing a robbery suspect two blocks away. The detective investigating the case agreed.

However, the coroner’s jury had already exonerated the officer, since the bullet extracted from Froistad’s brain was smaller than the .38 bullets fired by the officer.

The detective and police chief said that proved only that the coroner did not find all of the bullet. It might have fragmented in Froistad’s skull or ricocheted before hitting him. 

The coroner and the coroner’s jury hotly disputed the chief’s statements, saying that they were convinced the bullet could not have come from the police officer’s gun. Yet this raised the question: Who did shoot Froistad and why?

The coroner’s jury had no answer to that question. 

Froistad’s sister called him a hard-working boy who had come over from Norway two years earlier and had no enemies of any sort.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1925: The New Yorker magazine made its debut.



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