Shot Dead In Flying Auto

Tacoma News Tribune – January 30, 1934

Rudger Terry, 28, Tacoma wrestler, died early Tuesday in a Tacoma hospital of a bullet wound inflicted by Cliff Tolson, state patrolman, who fired to stop a speeding car, in which Terry was a passenger, on the Pacific highway, three miles northeast of Tacoma.

Tolson said he had shot at the rear tire of a coupe driven by Jack Bailey, 516 Stadium Way, and containing Mrs. Terry, another woman and Terry. His motorcycle hit a bump, throwing up his arm and causing the bullet to strike Terry accidentally, the officer said.

The bullet struck Terry in the head. He was taken to the hospital by Tolson and he died an hour later.

Bertil E. Johnson, prosecuting attorney, was called from his home and began an investigation immediately. No charges will be filed until the case is gone into thoroughly, he said.

Tolson told the prosecutor that while he was driving his motorcycle about 60 miles an hour, near the Puyallup River bridge on the Pacific highway, a coupe passed him and he started out in pursuit.

“I thought I was standing still when they passed me,” he said. “I took up the chase and almost caught up with the speeding machine near the first turn after we had both slowed down to pass another auto. Then I drew up closer to them and sounded my siren. I must have been going 70 or 75 miles an hour.”

Unable to keep pace with the speeding automobile, Tolson said, he sounded his siren several times and then fired his revolver at a rear tire, hoping to stop the machine that way.

“The car continued to creep away from me, so I fired again,” he said. “This time, when I pulled the trigger, my motorcycle hit a bump and of course my hand moved up, raising my range. The bullet struck the rear window. Then the car slowed down and stopped.”

Terry has been wrestling in Tacoma for about four years. Recently he has been refereeing wrestling matches at the Greenwich Coliseum.

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