Sunday, October 28, 2012

Gunfight At The OK Corral - Coroner's Inquest - C.H. Light

Inquest on the body of William Clanton, Frank McLaury and Thomas McLaury, deceased.

Testimony from C.H. Light

After saying he was in town the day of the affray and that he witnessed a part of it, and knew or knows in one degree or another, the Earps, Ike Clanton, and Holliday; of being in a barber shop saying there was likely to be trouble between the Earps and the cowboys and that the Earps had just passed down the street with arms; that he passed from there to his house (Aztec Rooming House) at the corner of Fremont and Third Streets and was in there when the shooting commenced.


I heard two shots as quick as I could count, "One, Two," I jumped to the window on Third Street, looked up Fremont Street, I saw several men in the act of shooting. At the instant I saw a man reel and fall on the corner of Fremont and Third Streets on the South side, right directly on the corner of the house (Tom McLaury). I do not know who that man was.

I looked up the street again (and) I saw three men standing at an angle about 10 or 15 feet apart (Wyatt and Virgil Earp and Doc Holliday), about the center of the street, facing Fly's gallery and the house below (Harwood house). I saw another man standing, leaning, against a building joining the vacant lot (Billy Clanton).

There appeared to be two men firing at the man standing beside the house (Wyatt and Virgil Earp). That man appeared to be struck from the motions he made. Then he fired one shot at the lower man, at the northwesterly man, which I afterwards understood was Holliday. The shot appeared to take effect, which was fired by the man with the horse, for the other man turned partly around. I then looked at the man against the house expecting every moment to see some on of them fall, and he was in the act of sliding down on the ground, apparently wounded.

At that instant the horse vanished. I do not know where he went to. This lower man was firing apparently up the street. He fired one or two shots. I then saw the man who slid down the side of the house lying with his head and shoulders against the house, place a pistol on his leg and fired two shots. He tried to fire a third shot but he apparently was too weak.

The shot went into the air. At the same time there was a tall man with gray clothes (Doc Holliday) and a broad hat standing about the middle of the street, (who) fired two (shots) apparently in the direction of the man who had been leaning against the house. Then there appeared to be one party in the middle of the street firing down the street.

This man who laid on the ground near the corner of the house never fired but three shots. He appeared to be disabled. Then there was a few more shots fired by parties on the north side of the street (who) had passed from my view and I was not able to see them.

The next thing I observed was two men standing beside the man that slid down on the south side of the street near the corner of the building. A tall man dressed in black appeared on the scene with a rifle in his hand and said, "Take that pistol away from that man (meaning the man who was wounded) or he will kill him!" At this time the shooting was all over, and I do not think the whole of it occupied over 10 or 15 seconds. The tall man dressed in black was not a participant in the affray.

There seemed to be six parties firing, four in the middle of the street and one on the south side of the street, and the one with the horse. Afterwards, I recognized the man with the gray clothes to be Doc Holliday. I think there were about 25 or 30 shots fired altogether.

I did not see any of the parties have a shotgun. The fight occurred about 130 or 140 feet away from where I was. I think, from the report, that the first two were pistol shots. I think that there was one report from a shotgun.

I saw the man who fell at the corner of the street lying there all the time of the fight, I did not see him shoot. He seemed to me to be the first man shot. There was not time enough for a man to draw a pistol to fire a shot, between the first two shots.

They must have been from two pistols. The man who fired the second shot must have been prepared to fire when the first shot was fired. These two shots I heard were fired before I went to the window, but it did not take me a second to get there.

End of statement.

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