KCPD Memorial   Lest We Forget
 
 
 
 
 
Police Officer
 
Charles William Neaves
 
Kansas City, Missouri Police Department
 
End of Watch: Monday, September 20, 1948
 
Age: 30
 
DOB: June 7, 1918
 
Tour of Duty: 2 years
 
Cause of death: Gunfire
 
Suspect information: 1 Shot/killed, 1 executed
 
Police Officer
 
Sandy William Washington
 
Kansas City, Missouri Police Department
 
End of Watch: Monday, September 20, 1948
 
Age: 27
 
DOB: April 8, 1921
 
Tour of Duty: 2 years
 
Cause of death: Gunfire
 
Suspect information: 1 Shot/killed, 1 executed
 
Police Officer
 
Charles K. Perrine
 
Kansas City, Missouri Police Department
 
End of Watch: Monday, September 20, 1948
 
Age: 45
 
DOB: December 4, 1902
 
Tour of Duty: 9 years
 
Cause of death: Gunfire; Officers shotgun
 
Suspect information: 1 Shot/killed, 1 executed
 
Sergeant
 
William S. Wells
 
Kansas City, Missouri Police Department
 
End of Watch: Monday, September 27, 1948
 
Age: 36
 
DOB: September 13, 1912
 
Tour of Duty: 8 years
 
Cause of death: Gunfire
 
Suspect information: 1 Shot/killed, 1 executed
 

On Monday, September 20, 1948 at approximately 11:15 p.m., two officers, Charles Neaves, 30, and Sandy Washington, 26, were dispatched to an apartment building at 1334 Paseo on a disturbance call. The two officers previously responded to a call at that address two days earlier and arrested William Bell, on the complaint of Mrs. Helen Rainey that William Bell had threatened her. Because of their experience on the previous call Mrs. Rainey asked that they be sent this evening as well. The officers had no way of knowing that the events that would follow this seemingly routine call this evening would lead to the deaths of six men. This incident would also constitute the largest number of Kansas City police officers lost in any one event.

When the officers arrived at the apartment of Alpha Russell and Gwindola King they found a drinking party in progress. They informed William Bell, who was participating, that he was in violation of the conditions of his Peace Bond and would have to accompany them to Police Headquarters. George Bell, William's brother, objected to the arrest, arguing with the officers and was subsequently told to come along. On the pretense of looking for his coat behind a chair, George Bell suddenly produced a shotgun and fired point blank at Officer Neaves, striking him in the stomach. William took the shotgun from George and shot Officer Washington as he attempted to flee through the front door of the apartment building. William Bell commented that Officer Neaves wasn't dead yet, removed his service revolver from his holster and shot him behind the left ear. William Bell exited the front door of the building and lay in wait for the responding officers as George Bell and his girlfriend, Ora Belle Scott, went out the back door. Ms. King and Ms. Russell took cover in a closet.

Neighbors called for more police and Officers Charles Perrine and Langley responded to the call to assist the officers. William Bell hiding behind the north wall of the building shot Officer Perrine in the right chest as he approached the building. Officer Langley was able to find cover inside the building entrance and avoided injury but turned in time to see Officer Perrine fall dead. Sergeant William Wells and Officer Keiffer Burris responded to assist and were both wounded by revolver fire from William Bell as they approached the building. Officer Burris was struck twice by gunfire but survived his wounds. Sergeant Wells, who was struck seven times by bullets during the gun battle, died a week later from his injuries.

Officers Earl Scott and Rodney Knight arrived in a fourth police car and opened fire on William Bell, who was finally caught in a crossfire and died from multiple gunshot wounds. He was found with a revolver still in his hand and lying on a police shotgun removed from Officers Washington and Neaves' police vehicle.

George Bell was apprehended at his residence at 1111 E. 13th Street still with Ora Scott. Bell admitted that he had served part of a ten year sentence for killing a soldier while serving in Oran in 1943. Both Scott and Gwindola King testified against Bell at trial.

Bystander Edwin Burton Warren, 27, was also shot and killed by a patrolman in the confusion when he failed to heed an order to halt.

On December 8, 1948, George Bell, charged with slaying Officer Neaves was given the death penalty by a Circuit Court Jury. The jury returned its verdict to Judge Dewey P. Thatch after deliberating for four hours and twenty-two minutes.

On February 11, 1949, George Bell was transferred from the county jail to the State Penitentiary in Jefferson City, Missouri. He was sentenced to die on March 25, 1949 in the gas chamber. Pending his appeal in the Missouri Supreme Court George Bell was not executed until December 2, 1949 at 12:01 a.m. George Bell was the 25th person to be executed by the State of Missouri for his part in what has come to be known as The Paseo Massacre.
  
Officer Charles W. Neaves joined the department November 1, 1946. He was survived by his wife, Lavern Neaves. Sustained multiple gunshot wounds, a shotgun blast to the chest and a gunshot wound behind the left ear. Interred: Mt Calvary Cemetery
Officer Sandy Washington joined the department September 3, 1946. He was survived by his wife, Ruth. Previously served three years in the US Army. Officer Washington's cause of death was listed as multiple gunshot wounds. Interred: Highland Cemetery.
Officer Charles Perrine joined the department July 15, 1927, then left on May 31, 1932. He returned to service in 1942 for a year, then returned to the department again in January 1945. He was survived by his wife Nellie Perrine and by his brother, Officer Arthur Perrine Jr. #573, who served from 1929 to 1934 and later served as Chief of Police in Riverside, MO from 1961-1963 and Municipal Judge of Northmoor, MO from 1971-75. Interred: Memorial Park Cemetery.
Sergeant William Wells sustained a seven gunshot wounds. One bullet entered his right lung resulting in the development of pneumonia. He died seven days later at General Hospital. Fellow Officer, Corporal Edwin Kirk stated that Sergeant Wells intended to resign from the department that Friday to accept employment with a paint company. He was survived by wife, Rose Lee and two daughters, Marcia and Linda. Interred: Mt. Moriah
Officer Keiffer Burris, joined the department June 21, 1942. He survived his wounds only to die in an on-duty training accident in 1960. [Article - 1960]

 

Article by Brent Marchant