Police Shoot Accordion-Playing Student in German WWII Uniform

by Joey deVilla on January 2, 2009

Screenshot of German WWII soldiers getting shot from the game "Castle Wolfenstein"

John Bowman just sent me a message linked to a Seattle Times story about the police shooting of a University of Washington student.

Seattle police shot and killed a University of Washington senior who was dressed in a World War II-era German uniform and who officers say was brandishing a long rifle with a bayonet early Thursday in his University District apartment.

The student, identified by friends as Miles Allen Murphy, was well-known on campus as a smart, eccentric history buff who loved to participate in WWII re-enactments and would even show up to class, at times, dressed in a historic uniform.

Murphy was killed about 2 a.m. Thursday when police responded to neighbors’ complaints that several men were shooting vintage, military-style rifles and shotguns into a dark alley near the 5200 block of 17th Avenue Northeast, police spokesman Jeff Kappel said.

When police were called, Kappel said, neighbors pointed out an apartment in a large white house. When police knocked on the door, one of the suspects opened the door brandishing a long rifle with a large bayonet attached.

Uniformed police officers warned the man several times to drop his weapon. He didn’t, Kappel said, and he pointed it at one of the officers. Two officers shot him several times. He died at a hospital Thursday morning, Kappel said.

Yow. The moral of the story is that if you’re dressed in a Nazi uniform and carrying a rifle, people will assume that you’re up to no good.

The story includes quotes from friends who describe him as a history buff and not a neo-Nazi. Also of note is the third paragraph of the story – people who know me will experience a sense of deja vu:

Friends said Murphy, 22, would entertain at parties by playing everything from old German folk songs to Britney Spears tunes on his accordion.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Watts January 2, 2009 at 6:27 pm

Was he wearing a Nazi uniform, or just a Wehrmacht uniform? Let’s not toss around the word Nazi lightly. Anyways, pretty dumb no matter what you are wearing…

Tyler July 12, 2009 at 1:19 pm

Watts the Wehrmacht was the “defense force” it is the Heer, Kriegsmarine, and Luftwaffe. It still had the EM eagle on it so it had a swastika. Nazi is what Military and Political persons were called back then so no matter what it was a “Nazi” uniform.

JJ July 19, 2009 at 11:22 pm

Mmm nope. Service in the Wehrmacht was compulsory; anyone could have been drafted, even those who didn’t support Hitler. Even though millions of soldiers had a swastika on their uniform, only an absent-minded observer would claim they’re all “Nazis.”

And the Wehrmacht was not a defense force. It was the standing army that traced it’s lineage back to the Prussian days. The SS on the other hand, was created specifically during Hitler’s reign.

Please refrain from thinking about this anymore. It’s painful.

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