1914: CLARKDALE; Maria Rodriguez Killed, November 28, Part 2.

"DEPUTY SHERIFF OF PINAL COUNTY BRINGS MURDERER DOWN IN BATTLE OF BULLETS NEAR CASA GRANDE."

"One of the most remarkable and exciting man-hunts in the annals of Arizona came to a tragic end Sunday afternoon at three o'clock about three miles west of Casa Grande, when Deputy Sheriff Jeff Case shot and killed Antonio Lopez, alias Antonio Pappeo, after a battle of bullets in which no less than 20 shots were exchanged."

"The victim of this battle shot and killed Maria Rodriguez and wounded Ventura Valdez on the evening of November 28th at a wood camp eight miles from Clarkdale, and during his flight shot and wounded Deputy Sheriff Henry Alfred, capturing the officer's rifle and horse, which enabled him to elude his pursuers to a much better advantage than he had been able to do previous to that time." ...

"A section hand at Bon Station, Pinal county, saw Lopez early Sunday afternoon and at once hastened to Casa Grande on his gasoline speeder and notified the officers who started out to meet the fugitive. When within about one hunderd and fifty yards from Lopez, Sheriff Case demanded that he throw up his hands and surrender. The answer was a fusilade of bullets, to which the sheriff replied, bringing down his man with a bullet which struck him in the hip and glanced into his stomach. The bandit lived about three quarters of an hour after being shot." ...

"GREAT CHASE: After killing the woman and having wounded the man at the Clarkdale wood camp, Lopez started on foot with his rifle through the hills down the Verde river. Yavapai county officers and Indian trailers were soon on his track and for two or three days pressed him hard, being as close as one and one-half miles from him at one time and within a very few miles at all times, unitl he secued the horse from the deputy whom he shot. He then took a different route into the Case Grande country over the worst possible kind of country through which to trail a man. Sheriff Keeler, however, kept on the track, and every officer in the county was notified."

"Lopez was known to be desperate and the officers were aware of the fact that they had to fight him whenever he was overtaken, it having been ascertained that he was an old time Zapatista who had fought with Zapata in Mexico before coming to Yavapai county." ...

(Weekly Journal-Miner; Prescott; December 9, 1914; page 1, columns 1-2.)

"ANTONIO LOPEZ WAS THE RIGHT MAN."

"Sheriff C. C. Keeler has a most interesting and thrilling story to tell with reference to the trailing of Antonio Lopez, the murderer who was killed near Casa Grande after a chase of over two hundred miles. He stayed with the chase until he had seen the dead bandit in the box, ready for burial, and brought home with him the hat and shoes of Lopez. On the inside of the hat is the name of a Jerome firm, indicating that it was purchased at that place."

"After the shooting a postmortem was held on the body and it was then discovered that a deputy sheriff named W. W. Cates, of Pinal county, fired the fatal shot. This was made known because the gun Cates carried shot a special kind of bullet and a bullet from this weapon was found in the stomach of the dead man, having glanced from the hip bone upward when it hit him."

"Sheriff Keeler said that the battle was furious in which the bandit was landed, twenty-five or thirty shots having been fired. After Lopez had been shot he fell, but the officers in the posse thought he might be feigning death and were cautious about approaching the place where he laid. Finally, however, Deputy Cates went up to the prostrate form and found the Mexican was still alive but in great pain. He took the gun of the dying man and asked him about his folks and some other questions. Lopez said to him, 'you killed me.' to which the officer replied, 'you tried to kill me didn't you?' Lopez replied, 'yes, but I did not kill you.' Afterward there was enough conversation to convince the officer that he was the man who killed the woman near Clarkdale."

"On the person of the Mexican was found ninety-eight dollars in money. The horse he obtained when he shot the Maricopa county deputy sheriff he rode only a short distance when he abandoned it and proceeded on foot. The horse has been recovered by the owner."

"Sheriff Keeler returned home worn and weary from the loss of sleep and exposure he encountered in keeping up the chase. He said that he and his helpers were on the trail every night as long as they could see and resumed the search as soon as there was enough light to give them a chance to follow the trail. On the sole of one of the shoes worn by Lopez was a peculiar mark which enabled the Indian trailers to follow him definitely. Sheriff Keeler said that one Apache Indian trailer who was on the job was a marvel. He would trail the shoe print through the grass where no other person could distinguish a mark at all and travel faster on foot than the other men could go on horseback. It was this particular Indian who kept them on the right track, and Mr. Keeler said that it was only a matter of a few hours when they would have captured the Mexican had not the Casa Grande officers taken him."

"This case is only one of many successful ones in which Keeler has been engaged during his term as Sheriff of Yavapai county, and when he leaves the sheriff's office he will have nothing to regret."

(Weekly Journal-Miner; Prescott; Wednesday, December 16, 1914; page 6, column 3.)

Comments

Comments are not posted immediately. Submissions must adhere to our Use of Service Terms of Use agreement. Rambling or nonsensical comments may not be posted. Comment submissions may not exceed a 200 word limit, and in order for us to reasonably manage this feature we may limit excessive comment entries.

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.