Title: "Only One Jap Shot Fleeing Sentry, Says Ernst," Seattle Times, 2/7/1944, (ddr-densho-56-1023)
Densho ID: ddr-densho-56-1023

Only One Jap Shot Fleeing Sentry, Says Ernst

TOPAZ, Utah, Feb. 7.--(AP)--Countering Tokyo radio reports that two Japanese had been slain "on the pretext they were trying to escape" from a Topaz Relocation Center, Director Charles F. Ernst said today only one evacuee had been killed and he was shot while fleeing from a sentry. Ernst formerly was Washington State public welfare director.

Ninth Service Command headquarters at Salt Lake City said a court-martial which followed the shooting decreed that the sentry's action was justified.

Sadao Iguchi, spokesman for the Japanese Board of Information, broadcast that Hatsuaki Wakasa, suffering from tuberculosis, and Kota Isomura, suffering from a spinal disease, were killed by guards on the pretext they were attempting to escape.

"Hatsuaki Wakasa, 63 years old, was shot and killed April 11, 1943, by a military sentry when Wakasa refused to halt after he had been challenged several times," Ernst said, adding Wakasa was attempting to leave the center after hours.

"We have no Kota Isomura registered at the camp and neither has there been a second person shot at this center," the director asserted.

Ernst said the center had no record that Wakasa had suffered from tuberculosis.