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Saturday, December 7, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Jim Kershner’s This Day in History

From our archives, 100 years ago

Two masked men robbed a grocery store at Third Avenue and Madelia Street, and then shot a Spokane detective during a running gunbattle through the streets.

The two bandits entered the grocery store at closing time and demanded the contents of the till at gunpoint. They escaped with about $5 in cash.

The grocer called police, and the two detectives caught a glimpse of “two forms hurrying west on First Avenue.” The detectives approached within 50 feet and commanded them to halt. The two men ran around a corner and when the detectives followed, the bandits opened fire. They exchanged 20 gunshots in the ensuing gunbattle. 

One detective was shot in the leg, shattering the bone to splinters above the right knee. The other detective emptied his revolver at the fleeing pair and then assisted his fallen comrade.

He was reported in good condition and was expected to survive, although there was some fear that complications might set in.

Meanwhile, the other detective, acting on information, went out to Marshall Junction, southwest of the city, in the police auto and waved the outgoing freight train to a stop. He and some other officers rousted out two men fitting the description of the bandits. They were taken into custody, but the detectives had not yet made positive identification, since they had never had a good look at the two masked bandits.

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