Wednesday, August 21, 2013

"you are at perfect liberty to go armed"



Condition of Conductor Church and
of Gripman Prewett Changes for
the Better--Cablemen May
Carry Firearms.

   The condition of Conductor Church and Gripman Prewett, who were shot by a lone highwajman at the east end of the Eighteenth street line Saturday night, was for the better yesterday and they are now on the road to recovery. Church's wound, which is the most serious, pained him considerably yesterday and caused him to be restless, but otherwise he showed remarkable spirits for a man who had been so near to death. Gripman Prewett retained his splendid nerve yesterday. He said he thought he could identify the man who did the shooting. Dr. Will Iuen. the cable company's surgeon, stated that he thought neither Church nor Prewett would suffer permanent injury from their wounds. He will not take the bullet from Prewitt's leg.

   The police are wholly at sea in their efforts to apprehend the highwayman. Their work is much impeded because of the difference of statements Church and Prewett make regarding tho identity of their assailant. Church says he was a white man with a mask. Prewett sticks to it that the bandit was a very black negro. The police are working on the latter theory, and give but a vague hint that he may be one of the county jail s escaped trusties.

   Chief Hayes stated last night that the only way out of the holdup difficulty for the cable company is for the trainmen to be provided with firearms. He thinks Prewett could have killed the highwayman on Saturday night if he had been armed. A good dose of lead would have a tendency to weaken the bandit market.

   Chief Haves visited the scene of the attempted robbery yesterday. As he returned on an Eighteenth street train, the gripman recognized him and inquired whether or not he would have to have a permit to carry a weapon.

   "No, sir," said the chief. "When you are on your run you are at perfect liberty to go armed. I would consider it a good plan for all conductor and gripmen to go armed. Many of the cable company's trainmen formerly went armed and were never molested. The company will not furnish firearms for its men. but would sanction them carrying such things in extreme cases."

   Lieutenant Weber, of the Grand avenue police, called on Church and Prewett at their homes yesterday. but gained little that would aid him in establishing the identity of the would-be robber.

[The Kansas City Journal, Monday, Kansas City, November 22, 1897. Volume XL. No. 165. Pg. 3]

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