TERRIBLE TRAGEDY ENACTED – 1907

As reported in The Riverside Enterprise, Wednesday morning, December 25, 1907

TWO KILLED BY DRUKEN HALF BREED

Horace Magee, Inflamed with Liquor, Shoots Without Provocation – – –  Is Struck Down With Billiard Cue

P.V. Swanguen, a constable at Temecula and Louie Escallier, a Frenchman, were shot and instantly killed last night at 8:45 o’clock at Temecula by Horace Magee, a half breed Indian.  Magee was struck twice over the head with a billiard cue in the hands of John Jackson, a bystander, and is not expected to live until this morning.

DETAILS OF THE TRAGEDY

Details of the tragedy, which has shocked the whole of Temecula, were received by The Enterprise after considerable difficulty.  The double murder took place in a billiard hall owned by Albert Degonmos, a Frenchman.

ENTERED POOL ROOM WITH PISTOL

A good sized crowd of men of the town was in Degonmos place playing billiards when Magee entered with Albert Golch.  It was plain to all that both Magee and his companion had been drinking.  Both men entered talking Spanish.  Finally Magee turned and made an insulting remark to the proprietor of the place.  Degonmos apparently did not pay much attention in the vile epithet hurled at him and made no reply.  When Degonmos did not pay any attention to him, Magee spied Louie Escallier, a Frenchman, and spoke to him insultingly.

Magee’s language was very obscene.  Escallier came over and in an apparently jokingly way burnt Magee with the lighted end of a cigar which he had been smoking.  This put Magee in a murderous mood.  He went over to the shake hands with Constable Swanguen, who did not at first accept the proffered hand.  Finally he grasped the Indian’s hand and told him that he was all right and to go away and behave himself.

SHOOTS SWANGUEN THROUGH HEART

Then, without apparently and provocation, Magee pulled out his revolver and began shooting.  His shots were aimed at Swanguen, the man whom just a moment before he had shaken hands with.  The first two shots went wild, one of the shots going over Swanguen’s shoulder.  By this time the whole pool room was in an uproar.

The third shot plowed through Swanguen’s heart, and he sank to the floor, dying almost instantly.  The murderous glare in the Indian’s eyes indicated that he was bent on killing everyone in the hall.  Nobody seemed willing to interfere but Louie Escallier.  He rushed to take Magee’s gun from him.  The murderer started to run out of the door.  The two men grappled near the door, Magee still discharging his revolver.  Three shots were likewise fired by Magee at Escallier.

On the third shot Escallier fell groaning to the floor, pierced through the heart with a bullet.  He did not live long enough to speak a word.  Still snapping his revolver, Magee staggered out the door into the street.

MAGEE’S SKULL FRACTURED

At an early hour this morning Magee’s condition was serious, and he was not expected to live.  His head is badly lacerated and his skull is fractured.  At this hour the information given out was that Magee would not probably last until daybreak.  The cue used by Jackson was a heavy one and was wielded by a powerful man.

When the tragedy occurred, Deputy Sheriff Hugh McConnville, who is agent at Temecula for the Sunset Telephone Company was attending a Christmas entertainment at the schoolhouse.  As soon as receiving news of the double murder, he hastened to the scene and helped to carry Magee to the jail.

HAD JUST BOUGHT REVOLVER

Magee, who is slightly known in Riverside, is a brother of Dan Magee, the famous football player of Sherman Institute.  Word from Temecula announced that fifteen minutes before the shooting he had purchased a revolver from Frank Furneld.  He has always borne a bad reputation and considered a dangerous man when intoxicated.  For the last few weeks he had been hauling rock for the quarry at Temecula.

SHERIFF WILSON NOTIFIED

Sheriff Wilson was the first in Riverside to receive announcement of the double murder.  He was notified by Deputy Sheriff McConville.  The first particulars of the tragedy received here were very vague.  The sheriff assisted The Enterprise in every way to get the correct particulars.  The full news of the tragedy was given The Enterprise by Deputy Sheriff McConville and John Jackson, an eyewitness to the scene.

The sheriff gave instructions to bring Magee to Riverside this morning.  If Magee is alive, Deputy McConville will start from Temecula this morning at 8 o’clock.  Coroner Blackson will go to Temecula this morning and hold an inquest.

NO OCCASION FOR TRAGEDY

According to particulars received here, there was no provocation whatever for ht double murder.  Magee evidently came in the pool room looking for trouble because of the fact that 15 minutes before he had purchased a revolver from Frank Furneld.

When once started Magee seemed determined to kill everyone in the billiard hall.  Both victims of his reckless shooting were sober.  It is said at the time and had no thought of raising trouble with Magee.

BOTH VICTIMS WELL KNOWN    

Both men who were murdered by Magee are among the best known citizens of Temecula.  They have friends in Riverside, who will be shocked at the news of their untimely death.

Constable Swanguen has been a citizen of Temecula for twelve or more years.  During that time he has always been an officer of the law.  He was about 43 years of age and has borne a good reputation as an officer.  He leaves a large family.  He owned a large bee ranch near Deluz.

Escallier also leaves a large family and is about 35 years old.  He and his brother, Hy Escallier, it is said, have always been law abiding citizens.  Temecula ……….. place, is about 48 miles from Riverside, near the south border of the county.  Sheriff Wilson would have gone over last night, had advices from Deputy McConville assured him that it would be no use as Magee was a captive and in almost a dying condition.

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Published in: on January 28, 2012 at 1:12 pm  Leave a Comment  

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