Wed, Oct. 27

1912: JEROME TRAGEDY; Night Officer Hudgens Shot, 2 Men Dead

A bullet had already penetrated the left shoulder of Night Officer J. W. Hudgens before he began shooting at Dave Schriber.

"The recent double killing which took place in Jerome has opened a great deal of comment in Prescott and conflicting stories have been circulated. The item printed in Sunday's 'Journal-Miner' telling of the shipping of the remains of Walter Vogel east, by a combination of circumstances, gave the wrong idea of who did each killing as well as the identity of Mr. Vogel. The story as told by J. W. Hudgens, the officer who was compelled in the performance of an unpleasant duty to kill David Schriber while trying to effect his arrest, is about as follows, and is as correct as Mr. Hudgens can give it."

"On the morning of May 1, at 5 o'clock, the officer as usual went off shift and went home and went to bed, at 5:25. There were only 3 places in town open and everything was quiet as usual and nothing to indicate that the night officer should remain longer on duty. He had been in bed but about 15 minutes when someone knocked at the door, and Mrs. Hudgens answered the knock and found Mr. Sutter who excitedly asked for Mr. Hudgens saying that Walter Vogel had been shot. Mr. Hudgens heard this remark himself not having gone soundly to sleep, and he immediately jumped out of bed and quickly prepared to go downtown. His wife urged him to be careful as he left. He hurried out assuring her that he would be careful. He had gone about a block when he met a man by the name of Johnson who told him he had been hunting all around for him. Johnson told him that Vogel was shot by someone but as he had been running and was out of breath, Hudgens did not quite understand the name. They went on together till they came to the livery stable of Charley Ewing and found that gentleman just leaving the barn on horseback. Mr. Hudgens asked him for the horse, stating that there had been a shooting up town and that he wanted to go up at once. Mr. Ewing alighted and told him to take the horse."

"Mr. Hudgens went to Otto's Place and met Dick Baraza who again told him in an excited manner that Walter was shot but the night officer did not catch the name except that he was a man who stopped at the Montana Hotel, where he immediately went. After hitching the horse he started up the stairway and met Billy Anderson. Mr. Hudgens asked Anderson to come with him into the hotel, telling him to keep a sharp look out that he was looking for a man, but did not tell him at that time what had happened. At the double doors, Anderson said, 'Let me go in first, and you can follow close behind and keep a close look out.' This was done."

"On entering the hotel, Mr. Hudgens asked the night clerk to keep a watch out for any one acting in a strange manner and went to the telephone and called up Otto's Place, but central [telephone operator] could not get any response. He then called up the hospital and was told by the nurse that Baraza had come and he asked who it was that shot Vogel. Baraza had regained his composure and said, 'Why, you know old "Dave" Schriber, it was him. Don't let him get away, but be careful.'"

"Hudgens wrote the name down on a piece of paper and showed it to the night clerk telling him that he was the man who had done the shooting. The night clerk then said, 'I will go to his room and see if he is there.' Hudgens told him not to go, but the clerk said, 'Yes, I will go.'"

"Whereupon Hudgens warned him to be careful. The night clerk soon returned and reported there was no one in Schriber's room."

"Hudgens then decided to look about the place, as he was sure that Schriber would be about somewhere. The dining room, the writing room, and the hall leading into the pool room as well as the pool room itself were each visited, but nothing was seen of Schriber."

"'I then decided to make a circle around the porch and then downstairs,' said Hudgens, in telling the story. 'I went to the pool room door which leads out onto the second-story porch, and started to go out. As I closed the door, I was looking on the outside to see if any one should make a move, and still had my hand on the door, when someone stepped out from standing up close against the wall, and the next thing I knew I felt a shot in the left side and shoulder and not a word had been said by either me or Schriber. I at once began shooting, and fired 6 shots from my automatic when it hung fire, and I at once pulled my Colt's single action 44 and fired 6 shots at Schriber. In all I fired 12 shots, 11 of which entered his body and the 12th burned him across the stomach. Schriber fired 5 shots, all except the first going wild. I did not say anything to anyone except that another man had followed me out at the door and was in range and I told him to get out of the way. When Schriber fired the first shot he was not more than 5 feet from me, and I consider myself lucky that he did not kill me. And but for my position of reaching back holding to the door knob, the shot which struck me would have killed me.'"

"'I went up to arrest the man, though I had been warned repeatedly to watch out, and did not expect that he would begin to shoot on sight. I did not dream of having to shoot him.'"

"When Walter Vogel went down to open up the saloon that morning as usual, he had no notion of any trouble with any one, and when 'Dave' Schriber came in and demanded the payment of rent, which Vogel knew nothing of, he told Schriber that he did not owe him any rent, and that he was in the wrong place. Schriber then told him that if he did not pay the rent he would kill him. Vogel stated on his death bed, to his aunt, that at that time he thought Schriber was only joshing him. But, a little later he saw the pistol in Schriber's hand and called to Johnson to catch him as he had a gun. But, as Johnson could not reach him in time, Vogel grabbed for Schriber himself, but was too late as the fatal shot was fired at about that instant. Only the 1 shot was fired, that striking Vogel in the pit of the stomach causing his death about 6 hours later."

"Walter Vogel was an exceptionally steady young man, aged only 22 years, and was well liked and highly esteemed by all who knew him. His remains were shipped to New Haven, Conn., for interment. He has an uncle living there. His aunt, the only relative he had in this section, accompanied the remains. His uncle, Otto Vogel, died in Jerome on the 16th of last September. Young Vogel was a member of the Loyal Order of Moose at Jerome."

"Schriber, commonly called 'Old Dave Schriber' was of an eccentric turn of mind and by many considered crazy and dangerous, having made threats against the life of numerous people and at some times considered a mere braggadocio. Mr. Hudgens says that he knew little of Schriber and had not seen him for 3 months prior to the trouble. Another officer made the same statement."

"Night Officer Williams whose beat is at the smelter end of town, saw Schriber the morning of the shooting of Vogel not more than half an hour having elapsed since that tragedy. Williams jokingly said to him, 'Hello, Dave, did you have to go down town after your "mornings morning," it's too early, isn't it?'"

"Schriber replied to him, 'Oh, no, it's not too early, they are open, all right.' He seemed perfectly cool and composed when he was saying this."

"J. W. Hudgens, who shot Schriber while trying to effect his arrest, is a young man, aged 32 years, and has been on the night shift in Jerome since August 31, 1910, taking the place of Charles King, who was killed by a man just before that date, while on his official duty. Mr. Hudgens worked for a time in the railroad shops in Prescott, coming here from Ely, Nev., where he was the first chief of police after that city was incorporated. He held this position 2 years. Prior to this he was deputy sheriff in White Pine County under 2 different administrations. He is a western man, having been born in White Oaks, N.M. He is a man who has done his duty fearlessly and has made good in Jerome."

(Weekly Journal-Miner; Prescott; May 8, 1912; p. 4.)

Walter H. Vogel, born in Connecticut on May 6, 1890, is the son of Herman and Jennie (Munz) Vogel. He was single and a bartender. The cause of his death was a gunshot wound in his liver. He had lived at Jerome for about 5 years. (Sharlot Hall Museum Library and Archives.)

David Schriber died of gunshot wounds on May 1, 1912. He is buried in the Jerome Hogback Cemetery (Sharlot Hall Museum Library and Archives, and Certificate of Death.)

See: The Verde Independent; "1912: JEROME; Walter Vogel & Dave Schriber Shot May 1;" May 5, 2014.

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