October 25, 1908
At 10 o'clock last night Elle Bassin, 60 years old, and his son, Nathan, 30 years old, were sitting in their little frame shoe shop mending shoes. Without warning the door of the little frame building was pushed open.
"Throw up your hands," commanded a voice.
At the same moment a hand clasping a revolver was thrust into the room. The young man arose from his seat and fell forward on the floor with a bullet through his heart. After firing the shot the assassin fled.
"There were two men," said the father of the murdered man. "I could see their faces for an instant, but not long enough to recognize them. They were young men, probably 20 to 25 years old."
Bassin said this in German. He is of German Jewish extraction. He cannot speak English. The father lives at 213 Circle avenue and the son, who is married, lived at 2111 Mercier avenue. He leaves a widow and two children, Ida, 5 years old, and Samuel, 2 years old. There are four brothers. The father and the murdered man conducted the business in partnership.
Robbery is thought to have been the motive of the crime. The Bassins' place of business is a little frame shack, 8x10 feet, at 1221 West Twenty-fourth street, with one door and a window about four feet wide in front. Every night they took the money received during the day out of the drawer in front of the window where it was kept, counted it, and the young man put it in the pockets of his trousers. This process had just been finished a few minutes before the fatal shot was fired last night. The money in the drawer usually amounted to $7 or $8.
The police say that a very tough gang of young fellows infest the neighborhood where Bassin's shop is located, and the old man himself complained that they had bothered him by throwing stones and refuse against his shop. It is thought that, seeing the young shoemaker count the money taken in by the day's work, two men who were passing by planned to step in, hold the shosemakers up with their revolvers and rob them of the money. When the young man rose as though to make resistance, the robbers, being amateurs and therefore nervous, fired.
Mrs. Enoch Dawson, who lives at 1208 West Twenty-fourth street, heard the shot and looked out in time to see two men running east on Twenty-fourth street. She saw one of them turn north in an alley between Mercier avenue and Holly street. Patrolman Maruice Scanlon, who walks the beat where the shooting occurred, heard the shot and came running toward the place. As he crossed Twenty-fourth street at Holly, under the electric light, he saw the man run across the street and disappear in the alley. The patrolman did not give chase but hastened to the scene of the shooting.
Dr. E. C. Rieger, 1105 West Twenty-fourth street, was called and pronounced the man dead. He had died almost instantly, saying no word. Coroner George P. Thompson was notified and the body was taken to Eylar Bros. undertaking rooms.
So far as can be ascertained, Bassin had no enemies. He was a quiet man and a steady worker. He had lived in the neighborhood three years, and before entering into partnership with his father had worked in the shoe repairing department of the Jones Dry Goods company. No arrests have been made.