KCPD Memorial   Lest We Forget
Police Officer
Michael Y. Sayeg
Kansas City, Missouri Police Department
End of Watch: Friday, May 10, 1918
Age: 37
DOB: July 18, 1880
Tour of Duty:
Cause of death: Gunfire
Suspect information: Sentenced to life

On May 10, 1918, Jack "Tennessee" Ray, 20, was leaving the Elmwood Club, a well-known gambling den located at 505 E. 18th Street, after shooting and wounding another man he had been betting with. Officer Michael Y. Sayeg happened to be outside the club when Ray walked outside and saw Officer Sayeg, he ran. Officer Sayeg pursued him, and as the chase turned onto Locust Street between 18th and 19th Streets, Ray turned and fatally wounded Officer Sayeg. Officer Sayeg did not have time to draw his own gun. Officers William Doan and Jack Price were nearby and when they spotted Ray fleeing the scene, they captured him at 26th and Locust. During a subsequent interrogation Ray confessed to Sayeg's murder. Ray stated that he had gone to the Elmwood Club with two associates and became involved in a crap game. He stated he drew his revolver during an altercation over money in the Club, fired the weapon and fled the Club. He stated that he ran outside and someone grabbed him. He stated he fired on the person who grabbed him and fled the scene.

A jury found Jack Ray guilty of the first degree murder of Officer Sayeg and sentenced him to life imprisonment on June 19, 1918. Ray appealed and the Misouri Supreme court affirmed his conviction in December 1920.

Officer Sayeg, 37, born in Syria, had been on the police force for eight years. He was survived by his wife. Interred: St. Mary's Cemetery.


Article by Brent Marchant