Three of the Wild West’s deadliest shoot-outs


Coffeyville Dalton bank robbery,  October 5, 1892

Overconfident from a series of successful armed bank robberies, the notorious Dalton Gang raided the First National Bank in Coffeyville, Kansas. Despite wearing false beards to disguise themselves, they were immediately recognised by locals in the town and the area’s lawmen were called. A massive shootout proceeded with the bank lit up in gunfire. When the gunsmoke cleared, all but one of the Dalton gang were dead, while Emmett Dalton, the lone survivor, crawled out after being shot 23 times.

People killed: 8

Four Dead in Five Seconds Gunfight, April 14, 1881

Instigated when a bunch of 75 heavily armed Mexicans galloped into El Paso, Texas looking for two missing vaqueros (Mexican cowboys), and ending with four people being shot dead in just five seconds, the Four Dead in Five Seconds Gunfight quickly went down in history. After an argument over the Mexican presence in El Passo at one of the town’s saloons, a gunfight broke out, with a local and Mexican bystander shot. Sheriff of El Paso, Dallas Stoudenmire, hearing the fight, moved in and shot the two responsible immediately.

People killed:  4

Cherokee Courtroom Shootout, April 15, 1872

After a jurisdictional dispute between Cherokee and United States courts, a federal posse was sent to the Goingsnake District of the Cherokee Nation to ensure the arrest of the murderer Ezekiel Proctor if he was found not guilty by the local court. During the court proceedings at a makeshift courthouse however a gunfight began with round after round spent and the walls of the building littered with bullet holes. By the time the smoke and dust had cleared, eight federal marshals were dead along with three local Cherokee men.

People killed: 11

To read more about the Wild West make sure you check out AAH issue 12 which is on sale from May 1.