South Pittsburg Hustler
South Pittsburg, Tennessee
Thursday, January 5, 1928
SIX OFFICERS SLAIN
IN GUN BATTLE HERE
ON CHRISTMAS NIGHT
SHERIFF WASH COPPINGER IN LIST OF DEAD
NO INVESTIGATION YET MADE
City Placed Under State Guard To
Prevent Further Occurrence
Scarcely had the echoes of the carol rendered Christmas night in the sacred cantata at the Cumberland Presbyterian church in this city faded into the foothills of the Cumberland, when a volley of gun shots rang out upon the down-town streets that took a toll of six lives and wounded several, among whom were numbered some of Marion county’s best citizens.
No investigation has been made of the horrible tragedy which took place on Cedar avenue between the Hotel Robert E. Lee and Williamson’s Pharmacy between the hours of 9 and 10 o’clock and the consensus of opinion is that those slain were the chief characters of the gun battle.
Among the slain were Sheriff Coppinger and Deputy L. A. Hennessey; Chief of Police James Conner, who was also a deputy under Coppinger; Special Policemen Ewing Smith, Ben Parker and O. H. Larowe.
Those receiving slight wounds were John Holden, Lafayette Nelson and Charles Tidman.
As a guard against other trouble that might arise between citizens as a result of Sunday night’s street battle, the city authorities were soon in touch with Governor Horton who rushed to the scene troops of the Tennessee National Guard, under Lieut. Col. Buchhotlz who at once took up their work of patrolling the streets of the city.
At this writing the situation has cleared up to such an extent that only ten of the guard under Capt. W. A. Myers remain on duty. Col. Buchholtz with his other men having returned to Chattanooga.
County Court Names Turner
Coppinger as Sheriff.
When the county court met at Jasper Monday there were only ten of the fourteen members present, and a comparatively small group of interested persons, together with several newspaper men to watch the proceedings. The name of Turner Coppinger, son of the slain Sheriff and chief deputy, was the only one to come before the court, consequently his election was unanimous. Immediately upon election to the office of sheriff, Mr. Coppinger was sworn in by County Court Clerk W. T. Hornsby, and immediately took charge of the office.
From all indications, the promotion of Turner Coppinger from the office of chief deputy to that of sheriff has met with universal satisfaction.