August 13, 1903
Gilbert Twigg fires a shotgun at a bandstand, killing 9 and wounding at least 25 before killing himself
Twigg used a double-barreled shotgun to fire at the band and its audience, killing six at the scene; another three died of their wounds later. He then pulled a revolver to end his own life. The entire shooting happened so quickly, most people at the scene did not have time to process what was happening.
The Wichita Daily Eagle (Aug. 14, 1903) described the aftermath: “The dead and injured were lying almost in a heap at the edge of the crowd, great streams of blood pouring from their wounds and causing theh [sic] streets to truly run with blood. The screams and writhings of the injured and the gasping of those whose life was ended by the bullets presented a terrible appearance under the flickering of the street lamps.”
Long-winded letters left at Twigg’s home explained his rationale for the murders. According to the Evening Times-Republican (Marshalltown, IA. Aug. 18, 1903), “It appears that Twigg was disappointed some years ago in a love affair, and that he had brooded over the affair to such an extent that he was convinced the citizens of Winfield were making light of his troubles and that he was being shunned by his fellow beings.” The article further explains Twigg was driven by “getting even” with those he perceived to be shunning him.
The Wichita Daily Eagle. August 14, 1903