Variety Hall Shootout

The Variety Hall Shootout, also called the Las Vegas Saloon Shootout, (January 22, 1880) was a gunfight that took place in Las Vegas, New Mexico. It launched gunman "Mysterious" Dave Mather to fame.

Mather had first ventured to Las Vegas as a part of the Dodge City, Kansas.

On January 22, 1880, Marshal bartender, and dared anyone present to stop them.

A "no guns in town limits" rule was in effect, a reason to believe that Mather was in fact deputized, as he was armed. Marshal Carson demanded that the cowboys relinquish their weapons, to which they refused. A shootout between Carson and the cowboys started, with the marshall falling dead. Dave Mather drew his gun and returned fire. When the gunfire died down Mather was still standing. William “Big” Randall was mortally wounded, and James West was too badly injured to escape. The other two men, John Dorsey and also wounded T.J. House, managed to make their way to the stable and escape.

House and Dorsey were captured two weeks later, and brought to the Las Vegas jail to await trial. An angry mob broke into the jail and pulled both House, Dorsey and West from their cell, and lynched them. The gunfight was the first substantiated account to which Mather's name could be attached, and it launched him into western fame as a gunman.

External links

  • Variety Hall Shootout
  • Officer Down, Marshal Joe Carson's death and aftermath
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