Deadlands Reloaded: The Weird West
Four Dead in Random Shooting
ROCKY FORD, CO—John Stutler, land-owner, rancher, councilman, and father of three has been arrested by town Marshal Jim Craddock. According to witnesses, Mr. Stutler walked into the local dry goods and sundries store at three o’clock in the afternoon, drew his pistol, and opened fire on the customers and staff. After emptying his weapon, he fled into the street, reloaded, and begun to shoot at passersby. This continued until Marshal Craddock apprehended Stutler in an alley between the bank and telegraph office.
After the dust had settled, four people, including the store’s owner, Mortimer Tarpley and his nine year-old daughter, Claudia, were killed apparently in cold blood. Three others were seriously wounded.
When interviewed why he attacked these innocent people, Mr. Stutler could offer no reason for this sudden outburst of violence. He said, “I was feeling a might under the weather this morning, so I went to the store to get some tonic. Mort said he was out, and I turned to leave. I don’t remember drawnin’ my gun. The rest is just a blur.”
What could have caused an otherwise peaceful man with no history of violence to commit such a heinous act? This reporter just doesn’t know. However, many in Rocky Ford are calling for Marshal Craddock to issue an ordinance banning the carrying of firearms in the town.