Wednesday marks 91 years since a dark chapter in Salt Lake City police history, involving a severed spine, firing squad and suicide.
On Nov. 27, 1922, Sgt. Nephi Pierce and Officer George Watson were patrolling on foot near 525 S. Main Street. Shortly after midnight, they found and started questioning two men who matched the descriptions of a pair of robbery suspects when one of the men drew a handgun.
Pierce ran for cover behind a tree, but a suspect shot him, severing his spine, according to a Salt Lake City police memorial. Watson was pistol-whipped and left for dead while the suspects ran.