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March 20, 2012 at 2:32 PM

Medal given to widow of SPD officer killed in ’68

Lt. Donnie Lowe, left, Suzanne Allshaw and Assistant Chief Mike Sanford. (Seattle police photo)

Seattle police this week presented the department’s medal of honor to the widow of an officer killed by friendly fire in 1968.

Officer Robert Allshaw was accidentally shot and killed by a fellow officer on Nov. 11, 1968, during a robbery call in the Pinehurst neighborhood of North Seattle.

Allshaw was the first officer to arrive at an IGA  grocery store where the robbery took place. He  exchanged gunfire with a group of suspects and was able to capture one of the robbers.

Other police officers soon arrived, unaware that Allshaw was already at the store with a suspect in custody. Another officer spotted Allshaw, mistook him for one of the suspects, and fatally shot him, according to police.

Click here to read the original Seattle Times story on Allshaw’s death.

In 1998, Allshaw was awarded the medal of honor, but it was never presented to his family, police said. 

This week, Assistant Chief Mike Sanford and Lt. Donnie Lowe traveled to Indio, Calif., where they presented the medal of honor to Allshaw’s widow, Suzanne.

“This was truly a great honor for Lieutenant Lowe and I,” Sanford said in a news release. “My father worked around Bob Allshaw and told me that Bob was a genuinely nice man who always wanted to help people. Meeting this wonderful sweet woman, who shared some laughs and a few tears with us 40 years later, was emotional for me.”

Allshaw is among the nearly 60 Seattle police officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty. There is an effort underway to honor them with street signs.

To view an interactive map showing the locations where officers have been killed, click here.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: Seattle, Seattle Police Department, shooting

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