January 2, 1932
Brothers Harry and Jennings Young kill 6 police officers while attempting to avoid capture for their roles in an auto-theft ring
The Young brothers had decided to visit their family, and a reliable source informed the police of their presence in the area. Ten police officers and 1 civilian, armed with tear gas an handguns, approached the farmhouse where the brothers were hiding. Surrounding the house, the brothers were ordered to surrender. When no answer came, tear gas was utilized. When still no response came from the brothers, the police kicked open a door and entered. The brothers shot at the officers as they came in, mortally wounding Sheriff Marcell Hendrix and Deputy sheriff Wiley Mashburn.
A shoot-out between the police and outlaws ensued, resulting in the deaths of 4 more officers: Deputy sheriff Ollie Crosswhite, Chief of Detectives Tony Oliver, Patrolman Sidney Meadows, and Officer Charles Houser. Four other officers at the scene escaped death when they ran out of ammunition and were forced to retreat. Meanwhile, the Young brothers were able to rob the bodies of the fallen officers of both money and weapons, and fled to Texas.
Things did not improve for the brothers in Texas. Police were informed of their location and on January 5, after a stand-off, heard a prolonged silence followed by several shots before a voice called out saying “We’re dead-come on in.” Police entered to find Jennings dead and Harry mortally wounded. Officially, the brothers shot themselves in a suicide pact to avoid capture, supposedly at the request of their mother; she had told them she did not wish to see them hanged and, should they be in a position to be captured, it would be preferable for them to take their own lives. Some question this explanation, however, and claim the police were responsible for shooting the brothers to death.
The body of Jennings Young
The bodies of Harry (left) and Jennings (right) after being cleaned of.blood