VERDE HERITAGE 1917: JEROME; Maria Herrera and Victor Vasquez were Shot December 30
"Victor Vasquez is dead and Miss Maria Herrera probably will live but a few hours. Both were shot several times last evening by Anastasio Ruan, and he thus far has made good his escape."
"The shooting occurred shortly after 7 o'clock and was the result of jealousy. By several credible witnesses it is stated that Ruan came all the way from the state of Jalisco, Mexico, for that purpose."
"Miss Herrera is only 18 years old and Ruan is about 18 or 19. They were children together and Ruan was deeply in love with her. He tried in vain to win her hand in marriage, but she rejected him repeatedly. About 4 months ago she came to Jerome. Ruan arrived 4 days ago."
"It is claimed by friends of the girl that there was no cause for the suspicions of love for another borne by Ruan, that she was merely a friend of Vasquez and there was nothing between them more than friendship, but last evening Ruan found them together at a little house where she stops in Mexican town."
"Down to the house is a steep flight of stairs leading from the narrow street. The girl and Vasquez were on a narrow porch. Ruan went down and started grappling with them and either from the first or instantly showed a revolver. He was wrestling with both and had one by the arm with his left hand and they were trying to take him by the arm to get the gun, when he commenced shooting."
"At this close range he poured 3 shots into the body of the girl until she fell and was out of the combat, when he commenced shooting at his rival. He poured 4 shots directly into the frame of Vasquez and as the latter fell and was apparently dying Ruan fled and disappeared in the darkness."
"He has not been captured, but it is not believed possible that he can go very far. Reports that he escaped in an auto are doubted, unless he was wise enough to catch a jitney for Clarkdale, which is doubtful."
"But the report that he came all the way from Mexico intent upon murder is stoutly maintained by the people of Jerome who know any of the details."
"The gun he used was a Colt's automatic, 32 caliber."
"A coroner's jury was summoned and an inquest was held this morning, finding the facts substantially as herein stated. The bullets entered his breast near the heart, coming out of his back. He did not die immediately, living over half an hour. He was still conscious and able to talk. Other people who heard him recall principally that he said he did not remember the name of the man who shot him."
"The body of Vasquez is at the morgue and the funeral will be held tomorrow afternoon at 4:30 o'clock, burial to be in the Jerome Cemetery."
"Vasquez had a brother here, Vidal Vasquez, by name. He had 3 brothers and a sister in Mexico. He was about 22 years of age."
"The girl was shot twice in the breast and once through the arm. She is still at the house where the shooting occurred, and it is thought that she may live only a few hours."
(The Jerome Sun; Monday, December 31, 1917; Page 1.)
"Anastasio "Ruan, apparently satisfied that he had killed both the girl and her lover, threw his gun into the room and disappeared into the darkness. No trace of him having been since found. It is the opinion of the officers that the murderer is being sheltered in some of the homes of Jerome, and the shacks in the Mexican section are being searched very carefully."
"The sheriff's office was notified of the affair a short time after the shooting had occurred, and circulars calling for the arrest of the fugitive were at once sent out over the State. Ruan is described as being a man of about 5 feet, 7 inches in height, weight about 135 or 140, dark brown skin, and wearing a small mustache. He was employed in one of the mines at Jerome."
(Weekly Journal-Miner; Prescott; January 2, 1918; page 1.)
"Death ended the sufferings of Maria Herrera, second victim of Anastacio Ruan, last night at nine o'clock. The funeral will be held this afternoon from the Catholic Church."
"When Dr. A. C. Carlson dressed the wounds of the girl Sunday night, a few minutes after Ruan had fired the revolver bullets into her body, he sated that her chances for recovery were practically nil. One bullet had passed entirely through the right lung. another had entered the left breast over the heart, ricocheted and come out at the side, near the floating ribs."
"Monday, Miss Herrera seemed to have a fighting chance for her life, but yesterday Dr. Carlson stated that she would certainly die as paralysis had begun to set in."
"Anastacio Ruan was charged with the deliberate, premeditated and wilful murder of Victor Vasquez by the coroner's jury, which concluded its deliberations and brought in a verdict. Matt Shea, Albert Brockman, George Brookshire, James W. Hubbard, W. G. Gaston, and W. M. Malody were the jurors."
"Only 3 witnesses were heard. Earl H. Jones, of the United Verde Copper Company, testified as to Vasquez's personal record. The record made when Ruan went to work for the United Verde simply showed that he was 22 years old and was a native of Mexico."
"Dr. A. C. Carlson testified regarding the immediate cause of Vasquez' death. He also stated positively that in his presence the deceased told his brother, Vidal Vasquez, that Anastacio Ruan had done the shooting."
"Will Encinas, proprietor of the rooming house where Ruan and his brother stayed, swore that immediately after the shooting Ruan came into the hallway of his place and asked him what happened. Encinas replied that he supposed there had been a fight. Ruan then went out at the back door. Soon after that Encinas saw him standing at the Marquez & Beltran pool hall. It is evident from Encinas' testimony that Ruan did not flee until perhaps a quarter of an hour after the shooting."
"No inquest will be held over the remains of Ruan's other victim, Maria Herrera, who died last night. In that case the physician's certificate will be regarded as final."
"Six posses are in the hills searching for Ruan. Unless he succeeded in getting entirely out of the country he is almost sure to be captured."
(Weekly Journal-Miner; January 9, 1918; page 3.)
Anastacio Ruan was not found.
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