March 7, 1908
FRANK W. LANDIS WOUNDED.
Charles Sovern, a second-hand dealer at 4313-15 East Fifteenth street, shot Frank W. Landis, a neighboring second-hand, 4317 East Fifteenth street, shortly after 5 o'clock yesterday afternoon. Sovern was arrested by Patrolman H. L. Goode and locked up at No. 6 police station for investigation. Landis's wife refused to let him be taken away in a police ambulance, so he was left at his home over his store in care of Dr. W. L. Campbell, who dressed his wounds.
Landis was shot twice, both times in the back. One bullet entered the neck just at the base of the skull, and one penetrated the back below the left shoulder blade. Dr. Campbell said last night that his only danger was in blood poisoning.
F. W. Frick, an assistant prosecutor, went to No. 6 police station and took Sovern's statement. Sovern said that he and Landis, being neighbors and in the same business, had been spatting back and forth a long time. When he returned from town late yesterday afternoon Sovern said he saw Landis standing in his east door, 4315 East Fifteenth, talking to another man.
"I told him to get off my premises," said Sovern. "He made some reply and made a bluff for a gun. Then I heard a shot, but don't know where it went. I entered my store by the west door, 4313. My gun was on my desk on the west side of the room . I don't know how I got to it, but I shot him three times. I believed I was defending myself."
Patrolman H. L. Goode was standing only one block away when the shooting took place. He said that Landis was lying wounded in his own doorway, 4317, when he arrived in less than a half minute. He had been shot in the back and was bleeding freely, Goode said.
"Just as I came up," said the officer, "a man whom I took to be Sovern left the Landis store and entered Sovern's place. There he came out and went across the street, where he spoke to some one."
These men were witnesses to the shooting: G. W. Ellis of Centropolis; J. M. Parrish, 5705 East Twelfth street; E. L. Adams, 1235 Lawndale; and Fred Link, 4304 East Fifteenth street.
When seen at his home last night Landis made the following statement:
"There has never been any bad blood between Sovern and me, for I have left him more or less alone. True, there have been several altercations between us, but they were merely of a business nature. I have no idea why he tried to kill me, as we have never quarreled to such an extent as to bring about a fight. At most there has been only an exchange of uncomplimentary names between us. His attack upon me was entirely unexpected. I have never had any intimation that Sovern meant to fight with me."
Landis was in a cheery mood last night and did not seem to be in much pain. He talked and laughed over the shooting affair with visitors in his room.