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American Wonder Wild Bill Hickok Shot and Killed From Behind on This Day in History

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Then Sheriff Owens turned his attention to the Blevins family, the other rustling gang in the county. The Blevins sons searched for their father and in August Hamp Blevins and another were killed by the Tewksbury side. Blevins returned to Holbrook and was heard bragging about his killings. Sheriff Owens had inherited a warrant for Andy Blevins' Cooper arrest for horse theft so he rode to Holbook on September 2, Sheriff Owens had hunted buffalo for the railroad and could shoot his Winchester from the hip with great accuracy.

Cradling his Winchester rifle in his arm, Sheriff Owens knocked on the Blevins' door. Andy Blevins answered with a pistol in hand, the lawman told him to come out, that he had a warrant for arrest. Blevins refused and tried to close the door. Owens shot his rifle from his hip through the door, hitting Andy Blevins in the stomach. Andy's half-brother, John Blevins, pushed a pistol out the door to Owens' right and fired at the Sheriff.

He missed and Owens shot John Blevins in the arm, putting him out of the fight. Owens saw Andy Blevins in the window moving to shoot back.

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Owens shot through the wall, striking Andy in the right hip — he died that night. Mose Roberts, boarding with the family, jumped out of a side window with a pistol. Sheriff Owens shot him through his back and chest, killing him. Fifteen-year-old Samuel Houston Blevins ran out the front door, with his brother's revolver, and yelled "I'll get him. Owens shot and Sam fell backward, dying in his mother's arms. The shootout took less than one minute and made Owens a legend. In eight months Sheriff Owens had rid Apache County of two notorious gangs of rustlers and killers.

In many early western films and literature, Native Americans were often portrayed as savages; having conflicts and battles against gunfighters and white settlements. According to the U. Bureau of the Census , an estimate of 19, white men, women and children were killed while the Indians killed numbered between 30, and 45, casualties during the American Indian Wars. Among them was civilian Billy Dixon , who made one of the longest recorded sniper kills , by shooting an Indian off his horse almost a mile away with his Sharps rifle , during a standoff in the Second Battle of Adobe Walls.

General George S. Patton himself had a gunfight when he was a young second lieutenant chasing Pancho Villa all over northern Mexico in Patton and 10 enlisted men had been sent to San Miguelito Ranch to look for Villa, who had recently raided the city of Columbus, New Mexico. Patton positioned his men by the south gate and was making his way up to the north gate when a trio of Villa's men came into the ranch on horseback. Patton drew his obsolete single-action Colt Peacemaker revolver and shot two of the men. The first man had been fatally wounded in the exchange and tried to draw his pistol before Patton killed him with a single shot.

After his troops took down the remaining outlaw, Patton tied the three dead men to the hood of his touring car and drove the bodies back to his commanding officer. The image of two gunslingers with violent reputation squaring off in a street is nothing more than a Hollywood invention. The most famous and well-recorded duel occurred on 21 July , in Springfield, Missouri. They arranged to walk towards each other at 6 p. Wild Bill's armed presence caused the crowd to immediately scatter to the safety of nearby buildings, leaving Tutt alone in the northwestern corner of the square.

When they were about 50 yards apart, both men drew their guns. The two fired at the same time, but Hickok's shot hit Tutt in the heart, while Tutt's shot missed. This was the first recorded example of two men taking part in a quick-draw duel. The following month Hickok was acquitted after pleading self-defense. The first story of the shootout was detailed in an article in Harper's Magazine in , and became a staple of the gunslinger legend. The famous lawman Wyatt Earp gave an account of having participated a duel once during his vendetta.

One account says that after the party recognized Cruz, they chased him down and a gunfight ensued. During that time, Wyatt allowed Cruz to keep his revolver to "give him a chance to fight like a man.


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Gordon wanted her to stop working. When she told him to leave her alone, he became angry, went outside the saloon, and started shooting out the windows with his pistol. As bullets went through the saloon, Doc unflinching, holstered his Colt Peacemaker revolver, and walked outside. Gordon then started shooting at him but missed. Holliday then drew his pistol and shot Gordon at long range with one shot. He then went back to the saloon. Gordon died the next day and Holliday fled. Doc Holliday has also been credited with wounding and shooting a pistol out of saloon owner Milt Joyce's hand when he tried to brandish it at Holliday.

Commercial agency in Fort Worth, which provided "protection" to gambling dens and saloons in return for a portion of their profits. At the same time, Luke Short , a former friend of Courtright's, was running the White Elephant Saloon and Jim was trying to get Short to utilize his services. But the Dodge City gunfighter told Courtright to "go to Hell," that he could do anything that was necessary to take care of his business. On February 8, , the two quarreled, and with Bat Masterson at Short's side, Courtright and Short dueled in the street.

They drew their pistols at close range, and Short fired first, blowing off Courtright's thumb. Courtright attempted the "border shift", a move where a gunfighter switches his gun to his uninjured hand, but he was too slow. Short shot him in the chest, killing him. In the saloon, Frank sat down at a long table, Richardson turned around and took a seat at the same table. The two were then heard speaking in low voices. After the conversation, Richardson drew his pistol, and Loving drew his in response.

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The Long Branch Saloon was then filled with smoke. Both men were still standing, although Richardson had fired five shots from his gun and Loving's Remington No. Deputy Sheriff Duffey threw Richardson down in a chair and took his gun, while Bassett disarmed Loving. Richardson then got up and started toward the billiard table, when he fell to the floor with a fatal gunshot in the chest, as well as a shot through the side and another through the right arm.

Frank Loving, who had only a slight scratch on the hand, was immediately taken to jail. Two days later, the coroner's inquest ruled that the killing had been in self-defense and Loving was immediately released. Harrison shot first, but missed. Levy aimed carefully and hit Harrison, who died a week later. Not as well known today but famous in his time was the dapper, derby -wearing train robber Marion Hedgepeth , who despite his swell appearance, "was a deadly killer and one of the fastest guns in the Wild, Wild West ".

William Pinkerton, whose National Detective Agency had sought to capture Hedgepeth and his gang for years, noted that Hedgepeth once gunned down another outlaw who had already unholstered his pistol before Hedgepath had drawn his revolver. Most Old West men who were labeled as being "gunfighters" did not kill nearly as many men in gunfights as they were given credit for, if any at all. They were often labeled as such due to one particular instance, which developed from rumors into them having been involved in many more events than they actually were.

Often their reputation was as much "self-promotion" as anything else; such was the case of Bat Masterson. Corral in Tombstone , Arizona Territory. He has been said to have been involved in more than one hundred gunfights in his lifetime. But Prof. He wrote in a letter to John Hays Hammond on May 21, , that "notoriety had been the bane of my life. After his brother Virgil was maimed in an ambush and Morgan was assassinated by hidden assailants, the men suspected of involvement were provided alibis by fellow Cowboys and released without trial.

25 Most Notorious Outlaws Of The Wild West

Wyatt and his brother Warren set out on a vendetta ride to locate and kill those they felt were responsible. Wyatt has been portrayed in a number of films and books as a fearless Western hero. Corral , at least in part because he was the only one who was not wounded or killed. In fact, his brother, Tombstone Marshal and Deputy U. Marshal Virgil Earp had considerably more experience with weapons and combat as a Union soldier in the Civil War , and in law enforcement as a sheriff, constable, and marshal. There are no records to support the reputation that Johnny Ringo developed.

Others deserved the reputation associated with them. Jim Courtright and Dallas Stoudenmire both killed several men in gunfights both as lawmen and as civilians. The most well known of Butch Cassidy's Wild Bunch gang, [55] the Sundance Kid , was in reality only known to have been in one shootout during his lifetime, and no gunfights. Some historians have since stated that it is possible that over time he was confused with another Wild Bunch member, Kid Curry , who was without a doubt the most dangerous member of the gang, having killed many lawmen and civilians during his lifetime before being killed himself.

Hence, it is the Sundance Kid who is better known. It is often difficult to separate lawmen of the Old West from outlaws of the Old West. In many cases, the term gunfighter was applied to constables. Unlike contemporary peace officers, these lawmen generally pursued other occupations, often earning money as gamblers, business owners, or outlaws—as was the case with "Curly" Bill Brocius , who, while always referred to as an outlaw, served as a deputy sheriff under sheriff Johnny Behan. Many shootouts involving lawmen were caused by disputes arising from these alternative occupations, rather than the lawman's attempts to enforce the law.

Tom Horn , historically cited as an assassin , served both as a deputy sheriff and as a Pinkerton detective , a job in which he shot at least three people as a killer for hire. King Fisher had great success as a county sheriff in Texas. Doc Holliday and Billy the Kid both wore badges as lawmen at least once. A town with a substantial violent crime rate would often turn to a known gunman as their town marshal, chief, or sheriff, in the hopes that the gunman could stem the violence and bring order.

Although sanctioned by law enforcement officials, the gunmen were not always actually deputized. Sometimes, however, just to make things "official", they would go through the formality of deputization. Usually, when a gunman was hired by a town as town marshal, they received the full support of the townspeople until order was restored, at which point the town would tactfully indicate it was time for a change to a less dangerous lawman who relied more on respect than fear to enforce the law. He entered the council hall and dared the councilors to try to take his guns or his job, at which point they immediately changed their mind, saying he could keep his job.

He resigned on his own a couple of days later.


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People relive the Wild West both historically and in popular culture by participating in cowboy action shooting events, [61] where each gunslinger adopts his or her own look representing a character from Western life in the late s, and as part of that character, chooses an alias to go by. There are different categories shooters can compete in. There's the gunfighter, frontiersman, classic cowboy and duelist — each with its own specifications. Alongside the iconic cowboy , gunfighters have become a cultural image of the American people abroad, and also as an idealized image of violence, frontier justice , and adventure.

The quick draw which gunfighters help popularize, is still an important skill in the American military and law enforcement communities. Gunfighters have been featured in media even outside the Western genre, often combined with other elements and genres, mainly science-fiction Space Westerns , steampunk , and the contemporary setting. An example of these is Han shot first , in which Han Solo , a gunfighter-like protagonist in Star Wars , kills his opponent with a subtle, under-the-table draw.

Roland Deschain from the fantasy series The Dark Tower is a gunfighter pitted against fantasy-themed monsters and enemies. Inspired by the " Man with No Name " and other spaghetti-western characters, he himself is detached or unsympathetic, often reacting as uncaring or angry at signs of cowardice or self-pity, yet he possesses a strong sense of heroism, often attempting to help those in need, a morality much seen in Westerns.

Jonah Hex , from DC Comics , is a ruthless bounty hunter bound by a personal code of honor to protect and avenge the innocent. IGN ranked Jonah Hex the 73rd greatest comic book hero of all time. Even in an unfamiliar territory and time period, Hex managed to outgun his enemies with more advanced weaponry. Two-Gun Kid is another comic book gunfighter from Marvel Comics. Skilled with revolvers, he has aided many super-heroes in future timelines, most notably She-Hulk. Many Japanese manga and anime have also adopted the western genre.

Yasuhiro Nightow is known for creating the space western Trigun. Unlike other violence-themed gunslingers, Vash carries a Shane -like pacifist attitude, and avoids killing men, even dangerous enemies.

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Behind him is the gun-toting priest named Nicholas D. Wolfwood , who carries with him a heavy machine gun and rocket launcher shaped like a cross. Nicholas is more violent than Vash, and the two would often argue about killing opponents. Whitworth Rifle The British Whitworth rifle resembles the better-known Enfield Pattern , but features hexagonal rifling and was designed to fire a close-fitting, hexagonal bullet.

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