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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Newspaper coyly cites “family affairs” for hotel-lobby shooting

 (Spokesman-Review archives)
(Spokesman-Review archives)

From our archives, 100 years ago

Herman J. Rossi, a well-known Wallace insurance man and political activist, returned from the Idaho Republican convention early in the evening and went to his home.

Something he discovered there apparently enraged him. Within minutes, he was in the lobby of the Samuels Hotel, where he walked up to Clarence “Gabe” Dahlquist, who was talking with friends in the lobby. Rossi took out a revolver, smashed Dahlquist in the head with it, knocking him to the floor. Dahlquist got up and started to run, and Rossi fired. Dahlquist was hit in the back, but he managed to make it behind the hotel check-in counter.

Rossi followed him and and was ready to fire again, but the night clerk and a woman who was registering implored him not to shoot. He shoved the gun in his coat and left, ending up at his attorney’s office, where he was later arrested.

Dahlquist died the next day at Providence Hospital.

The reason for Rossi’s wrath was not clear, but the paper mentioned that Dahlquist “had been a frequent caller at the Rossi home and bad feeling existed between him and Mr. Rossi.” The paper delicately noted that “family affairs” may have been responsible for the tragedy. Dahlquist was said to have made his living by playing in orchestras and also as an insurance solicitor.

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