OFFICER FRED D. CARR – EOW: 2-25-1973
By: Officer Mike Severance #2866
During the early morning hours of February 25, 1973, a group of friends were engaged in a small-stakes card game at 606 15 Ave. East. David McMahon, 18, and a Franklin High School senior, ended up being the loser in the game. He did not take it well. He stormed out of the house. A friend went to calm him down, and ended up giving David a ride home. That friend returned to the house a short time later and warned all the occupants that David McMahon was walking back to the house with a shotgun. The Seattle Police were called. When officers arrived, David was not there. An area search for David produced nothing, and officers cleared the call. David arrived at the house about ten minutes after the officers had left. The Seattle Police were called again. Officer Fred Carr, his partner, Officer Ronald Sylve, and Officers David Orange and Percy Hill were dispatched to the call. They arrived shortly before 4:00 a.m.
Before entering the house, the officers announced themselves and ordered McMahon to come out with his hands up. McMahon did not comply. Standing at the front door, the officers could see a narrow hallway. Immediately to the left was a stairway leading to the upstairs. On the right were closed glass doors leading to the living room. Further down the hall were a closet and a bathroom.
Officer Orange, armed with a revolver, entered the house first and stepped up onto the stair landing to the left. Officer Carr entered next followed by Officer Hill. Both Carr and Hill were armed with shotguns. Carr proceeded down the hallway. Officer Hill and Officer Sylve remained by the front door. As Officer Carr reached the closet, the door suddenly swung open and hit Carr causing him to reel backwards. McMahon jumped out of the closet with a sawed-off .410 gauge shotgun and fired one shot. Officer Carr was between McMahon and all the other officers. Officer Carr fired one shot from his shotgun. Officer Orange fired three shots from his revolver. Officer Hill fired two shots from his shotgun. Officer Sylve fired no shots. McMahon fell to the floor dead. Officer Carr yelled that he was hit. He staggered backwards to the front porch where he collapsed and died a short time later.
After the investigation and autopsies, it was determined that McMahon’s one shot missed all the officers. Officer Carr’s one shot had missed the suspect. One of Officer Orange’s revolver rounds hit McMahon. It did not cause a fatal wound. Another of Officer Orange’s revolver rounds hit Officer Carr in the right side. It did not cause a fatal wound. One of Officer Hill’s shotgun rounds hit McMahon, causing a fatal wound. Officer Hill’s other shotgun round hit Officer Carr in the right side, causing a fatal wound.
Officer Fred Carr was un-married. He was survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Carr, and ten siblings. Officer Carr’s funeral was held on February 28, 1973 at the Mt. Zion Baptist Church. Accompanied by six Seattle Police Officers, Officer Fred Carr’s body was transported to his birthplace of Camilla, GA. Officer Carr was buried at Oakview Cemetery.
Fred Douglas Carr was born on March 27, 1947 in Camilla, GA. He had ten brothers and sisters. Fred graduated from Camilla Consolidated High School in 1966. Fred served in the U.S. Army from 1967 through 1969. His military service included tours in Viet Nam. Fred was commissioned as a Seattle Police Officer on March 1, 1971. Officer Carr had lived at 3500 27th Pl. W.
In May 1998, Officer Fred D. Carr was one of forty Seattle Police Officers, killed between 1881 and 1977, who were posthumously awarded the Washington Law Enforcement Medal of Honor. A sworn member of SPD had been tasked with locating surviving families of our Fallen, and he had from 1995 to 1998 to do it. He managed to locate four surviving families who attended the 1998 presentation ceremony. After 1998, the Department made no effort to locate surviving families of the other thirty-six officers. Neither Fred’s mother, still living in Camilla, GA., nor any of his ten siblings were contacted by the Department. Neither Fred’s mother nor any of his ten siblings knew about the medal or the presentation ceremony. Fred’s mother died in 2011, thirteen years after Fred’s medal was awarded. Officer Carr’s medal gathered dust at the Seattle Police Department for more than 15 years. At a ceremony on January 30, 2014, twenty surviving families of our 1998 Medal of Honor recipients finally received the officers’ medals. Officer Carr’s sister, Juanita Carr, was presented with his Medal of Honor.