February 18, 1908
As a result of a quarrel in the Cosby hotel, West Ninth street and Baltimore avenue, at 8 o'clock last night, James P. Hayes, agent of the Traders' Dispatch, and John F. O'Donnell, cigar manufacturer, are in a dangerous condition in St. Joseph's hospital from bullet wounds in their bodis, and J. D. Cosby, owner of the hotel, who shot the men, is in the city jail and will probably answer to a charge of murder, in case the men may die. Hayes cannot recover, according to the attending physician, but O'Donnell's chances are even.
While Cosby is making an appeal to the police that he shot O'Donnell and Hayes in self-defense, the evidence shows that both men where shot in the back as they were retreating from the hotel. Cosby was not assaulted in any way or een mixed up in the quarrel until he grabbed a revolver and began shooting. The police arrested Cosby and his brothe, Wiliam Cosby; his clerk, William Murray, and a negro porter, Moses Butcher. They will be held until police make a thorough investigation.
The shooting was the result of a quarrel between Hayes, O'Donnell and William Murray, because the former two asked to see a friend of the name of A. Drake from Salt Lake City, U., who was staying at the hotel. Hayes and O'Donnell went to the hotel about 8 o'clock and inquired for Drake and H. L. Davis, who was registered from Hutchinson, Kas. Murray informed them that their friends had left. Hayes then made a remark which led Murray, the clerk, to believe Hayes was doubting his word and Murray struck him in the face. A fist fight followed in which Hayes, O'Donnell, Murray, and Cosby, brother of the proprietor, were implicated. Hayes used a bell and a bottle to defend himself with and Murray's head was badly cut as a result.
Hayes and O'Donnell tried to escape from the hotel and Murray and Williaim Cosby again attacked them. While the men were engaged in a fight J. D. Cosby, the proprietor, came from behind the counter with a revolver in his hand and shot Hayes twice through the back as he was running down the stairs. J. D. Cosby was not assaulted and had no hand in the row except to do the shooting, according to statements of Hayes and O'Donnell and others who were there at the time of the shooting.
Hayes and O'Donnell fell when they were shot and the former lay in an unconscious condition at the top of the stairs, while O'Donnell managed to crawl into a nearby saloon and ask for help. Some one at the hotel telephoned for the police and Hayes and O'Donnell were taken immediately to St. Joseph's hospital They were in a critical condition and at midnight last night it was stated that Hayes could not survive. There were two bullet holes in his back near the right shoulder blade. The bullets had not ben located. He was in a semi-conscious condition up to midnight and was unable to recogize relatives and friends who were permitted to see him. There was one bullet in O'Donnell's shoulder which passed through his body, coming out just above the heart. It was found in his clothing and it was stated by physicians at the hospital last night that O'Donnell may recover.
Asistant Prosecuting Attorney Riehl took a statement from J D. Cosby last night regarding the shooting, in which Cosby claimed self-defense. His story of the shooting is as follows:
Cosby made another statement in which he said that he did not know that he had shot more than one man, but held to the story of self-defense.
"These two men, whom I do not now, came to the hotel and started a row with Murray and my brother (meaning William Cosby). They injured Murray and then went down out of the hotel. Later they came back, and I thought that they intended to start another row. I ordered the men in the hotel not to let these two men out of the place, as I wished to call the police and have them arrested. Then they started another row with Murray and my brother. I took a revolver I had in my hand and went to assist my brother. I grabbed hold of one and he struck at me. Then I shot him. I then shot the other man when he tried to strike me with something he had his hand. I did it in self-defense and to help my brother and Murray."
The statements of all the other eye witnesses to the tragedy discredit that of Cosby. Willilam Cosby, his brother, said Cosby shot Hayes in the back when the latter was wrestling with Murray and then leaned over the railing of the stairway and shot O'Donnel as the later was descending the stairway. He also stated that he asked his brother not to shoot, but he would not listen. J. J. Carter of Garden City, Kas., and R. C. Rawlings of Chanute, Kas., made statements to the police which were about the same as that of William Cosby.
Mrs. Hayes, wife of the wound man who will probably die, called at the hosptial about 11 o'clock last night to see her husband. She was almost prostrated with grief when told of the affair and was overcome when she saw the condition of her husband. A sister and friends of Hayes also called to see him. Hayes has a baby daughter and lives at 2904 East Thirty-third street. He is about 30 years old. He is the agent for the Traders' Dispatch with offices in the board of trade.
O'Donnell is unmarried and lived at the Century hotel. He is proprietor of the J. F. O'Donnell Cigar Comany at 1801 Grand avenue. He is about 32 years of age.
It is claimed that this is not the first time that Crosby has been in shooting srapes of this kind. He is claimed to have had trouble with Joe Zigler, a saloon keeper near the Cosby hotel, in which he used a revolver but did not do any shooting.