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