Roll Call of Honor
Spokane County is the third in the state for line of duty deaths. The law enforcement community of Spokane County proudly honors the officers who lost their lives in the line of duty and vows that they shall never be forgotten. Two hundred and sixty-nine law enforcement officers have lost their lives in the line of duty in Washington State. We salute them all.
Tribute to Spokane’s Finest
May we never forget our fallen officers
And the ultimate price they paid
May what their lives have stood for
Be forever in our hearts
And, may we cherish the sacrifice they made.
May we find solace in knowing
They did not die in vain.
They lost their lives doing what they love,
And now they've found a home with God above.
We pray that many more years will go by
Before another officer has to die.
May their courage and dedication be
An example to us all and to all
Law enforcement officers who answer the call
Deputy Sheriff James Joseph Slater - Spokane County Sheriff's Office
End of Watch: Friday, August 29, 2003
Deputy Slater was en route to back a fellow officer who was following an occupied stolen vehicle at 0227 hours. A citizen called 911 and reported a patrol vehicle in the ditch and the deputy unconscious. It is believed that Deputy Slater started sliding on a corner and over corrected causing him to hit a power pole that flipped the patrol car four times. Deputy Slater was airlifted to the hospital where he succumbed to his injuries at approximately 2230 hours. Deputy James Slater was retired from the Marine Corps.
Sergeant Robbin B. Best - Spokane Police Department
End of Watch: Friday, February 13, 1987
Sergeant Best suffered a fatal heart attack while training for the SWAT team at Spokane Community College. He was transported to the hospital where he passed away.
Detective Brian Frederick Orchard - Spokane Police Department
End of Watch: Wednesday, July 20, 1983
Detective Orchard was shot and killed while conducting an undercover stakeout of two thieves wanted for the theft of a valuable gun collection. The suspects had attempted to ransom the collection for $20,000. When the men pulled up to the surveillance area Detective Orchard approached the car and identified himself. One of the occupants fired a shot from inside the car, striking Detective Orchard in the head. The men were later arrested and convicted of the murder.
Deputy Sheriff Joseph M. O'Connor - Spokane County Sheriff's Office
End of Watch: Sunday, August 13, 1961
Deputy O'Connor was struck and killed by a drunk driver while directing traffic three miles east of Spokane at 0430 hours. The drunk driver entered the accident scene at a high rate of speed and struck Deputy O'Connor, throwing him 300 feet and killing him instantly. The suspect was apprehended and convicted of negligent homicide.
Patrolman John F. Wright - Washington State Patrol
End of Watch: Sunday, June 28, 1953
Patrolman Wright was struck and killed by a drunk driver during a traffic stop. The drunk driver fled the scene after striking Patrolman Wright but was later apprehended.
Patrolman Ivan Belka - Washington State Patrol
End of Watch: Saturday, August 18, 1951
Patrolman Belka was killed in an automobile accident while returning to the station in Spokane. Another vehicle cut in front of him on Newport Highway and struck his patrol car on the left side.
Officer George P. Lancaster - Spokane Police Department
End of Watch: Thursday, November 18, 1943
Officer Lancaster was killed in a motorcycle accident while on patrol in Spokane.
Officer John H. Miller - Spokane Police Department
End of Watch: Sunday, February 12, 1939
Officer Miller was accidentally shot and killed while attending an FBI investigation training school in Washington, DC. He and another school attendee were practicing quick draw from the hip with unloaded weapons at their boarding house. Officer Miller had asked the other officer to show him the move one last time before going to dinner. The other officer, forgetting that he had reloaded his weapon, drew the weapon and pulled the trigger, striking Officer Miller in the head.
Game Warden Herbert W. Minnick - Spokane County Game Commission
End of Watch: Wednesday, October 19, 1932
Warden Minnick was accidentally shot and killed at Bell station, near Rockford, while checking a pheasant hunter for a license. The man cradled his 12-gauge shotgun in his arms and as he reached into his pocket to get the license the shotgun discharged, striking Warden Minnick in the stomach. Warden Minnick died as he was being transported to his home. The county coroner ruled the shooting was accidental and the hunter was not charged.
Detective Roy Fordyce - Spokane Police Department
End of Watch: Wednesday, November 13, 1929
Detective Fordyce was shot and killed while attempting to arrest two juveniles who were wanted for several burglaries and robberies. Detective Fordyce and another detective had trailed the two from a local store where they had just purchased a gun. The suspect opened fire, fatally wounding Detective Fordyce. The boy was shot and wounded before being taken into custody.
Deputy Valentine J. McDavis - Spokane County Sheriff's Office
End of Watch: Tuesday, June 12, 1928
Deputy McDavis was killed in a motorcycle accident while he and an attorney were en route to investigate a crime scene involving a manslaughter case. Another car failed to yield right of way and struck Deputy McDavis' motorcycle, throwing him into a pole and causing fatal injuries. The attorney, who was riding in the motorcycle's side car, was severely injured but recovered.
Officer Frederick A. Germain - Spokane Police Department
End of Watch: Friday, July 21, 1922
Officer Germain was killed in a motorcycle accident while pursuing a speeding vehicle. During the pursuit a large truck swerved to avoid colliding with Officer Germain. The truck went into a ditch but spun around, striking Officer Germain, killing him instantly. The driver that Officer Germain was chasing was a repeat offender.
Town Constable Mahlon Pascal Johnson - Waverly Town Police Department
End of Watch: Tuesday, June 14, 1921
Constable Johnson was shot and killed when he interrupted a night-time robbery at a local business. It is believed the suspect(s) fired at his flashlight beam as he was looking through the windows of the business. He was struck in the head and killed. His body was found in the morning with his gun still holstered and his flashlight still on.
Officer William D. Nelson - Spokane Police Department
End of Watch: Friday, March 19, 1920
Officer Nelson was killed after being attacked by an insane inmate in the Spokane City Jail. The man had attacked Officer Nelson after escaping from the "tank". It took over 15 minutes and numerous officers to subdue the inmate.
Officer Michael F. Tynan - Spokane Police Department
End of Watch: Saturday, June 24, 1916
Officer Tynan was shot and killed while attempting to arrest a man for an earlier shooting. He and several other officers had gone to the man's home and told him to give up. The suspect responded by telling them to leave or he would shoot them. As the officers backed away the suspect opened the door and started shooting, striking Officer Tynan in the back. The man was eventually arrested and charged with Officer Tynan's murder.
Officer Frederick E. Goddard - Spokane Police Department
End of Watch: Wednesday, March 5, 1913
Officer Goddard was accidentally shot and killed during a training exercise. Officer Goddard was the first black member of his agency to be killed in the line of duty. Officer Goddard had served in law enforcement for 5 years and was survived by his wife, four children, and brother.
Captain John T. Sullivan - Spokane Police Department
End of Watch: Saturday, January 7, 1911
Captain Sullivan was assassinated as he sat in his home. It was believed that he was shot as a result of all of the work he did to end prostitution and gambling houses in the city.
Officer Alfred B. Waterbury - Spokane Police Department
End of Watch: Thursday, October 28, 1909
Officer Waterbury succumbed to wounds received when he attempted to stop a robbery suspect while on patrol. The suspect(s) fled after the shooting and were never identified.
Officer Henry A. Stotko - Spokane Police Department
End of Watch: Tuesday, April 4, 1905
Officer Stotko was shot and killed when he interrupted a burglary on Post Street while walking home after his shift. The suspects shot him, causing paralysis. They then dragged his body behind some bushes. Before they fled they took his badge from his chest and pinned it to the seat of his pants. The night watchman found him about an hour after the shooting. He was taken to Sacred Heart Hospital where he succumbed to his wounds. The suspects were later apprehended.
Marshal Edward F. Whittier - Cheney Police Department
End of Watch: Tuesday, October 9, 1888
Marshal Whittier was taking a prisoner from Cheney to Spokane Falls to the county jail when he turned his buggy out of the roadway to avoid an oncoming loaded wagon to pass. In doing so, the buggy wheel hit some loose rocks caused by previous blasting in the area to construct the railroad. The horses were unable to secure footing and began to run away. They ran the tongue of the buddy into the trestle with such force that it threw Marshal Whittier to the dashboard of the buggy. This caused the buggy to overturn throwing both Marshal Whittier and the prisoner to the ground. The Marshal hit with such force that it crushed his skull. Marshal Whittier died at a home near the accident scene. The prisoner took money from the Marshal and went on into town to sound the alarm. He neglected, however, to tell them he had been in custody. Whittier had served as the Sheriff of Spokane County from May 1885 to August of 1887 before becoming the Cheney Marshal.
Officer Ephriam John Hubbard - Spokane Police Department
End of Watch: Tuesday, September 7, 1886
Officer Hubbard was shot and killed while returning to the Spokane Jail from Douglas County with a prisoner he had arrested for murder. The suspect's son ambushed the wagon that Officer Hubbard and the prisoner were riding in. The boy opened fire with a rifle, killing both Officer Hubbard and the prisoner.
Officer Robert J. Rusk - Spokane Police Department
End of Watch: Thursday, April 22, 1886
Officer Rusk was shot and killed by two Indians who were seeking revenge against him. He had recently prevented a jail break by the two men. Officer Rusk had gone prospecting and was attacked by the two at his campsite. The two suspects were apprehended by a posse, convicted of his murder, and sent to prison.
Deputy Sheriff Horace P. Stewart - Spokane County Sheriff's Office
End of Watch: February 18, 1867
Deputy Stewart was shot and killed while trying to calm a group of drunken soldiers who had come into town. The soldier who shot Deputy Stewart was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Deputy Stewart had served with the Spokane/Stevens County Sheriff's Department for approximately 1 year as Sheriff, but was in the role of deputy at the time of his death.