Shootout: Wikis


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A shootout is a gun battle between armed groups. A shootout often, but not necessarily, pits law enforcement against criminal elements; it could also involve two groups outside of law enforcement, such as rival gangs. A shootout in a military context (i.e. regularly constituted armed forces or even guerrilla or insurgent forces) would usually be considered a battle or firefight (depending on size), rather than a shootout. Shootouts are often portrayed in action films.

Famous shootouts


Jesse James Northfield Bank Robbery

September 7, 1876. Jesse James, Cole Younger, and their gang attempted to rob a bank in Northfield, Minnesota. They exchanged fire with the townspeople.

Deaths: James-Younger gang: 2; Northfield town: 2

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral

October 26, 1881. Wyatt Earp and his brothers, along with Doc Holliday engaged in a firefight with the Clantons and McLaurys in Tombstone, Arizona.

Deaths: Clanton/McLaury: 3; Earp/Holliday: 0

Frisco Shootout

December 1, 1884. Legendary lawman Elfego Baca entered into a gunbattle with 80 cowboys in Frisco (now Reserve), New Mexico.

Deaths: Cowboys: 4; Baca: 0

Coffeyville Bank Robbery

October 5, 1892. The Dalton Gang attempted to rob two banks simultaneously in Coffeyville, Kansas, only to find themselves ambushed by lawmen and armed townspeople before they could make their escape. The gang was cornered in an alley and shot to pieces by the swarming townspeople; Emmett Dalton is the only outlaw to survive.

Deaths: Robbers: 4; Townspeople: 4

Jules Bonnot; Paris, France

April 28, 1912. 500 police officers, soldiers, firemen, and lynch mob participants exchanged fire with anarchist Jules Bonnot in a Paris suburb. The conflict ended after police bombed the building in which Bonnot was taking cover.

Deaths: 1 (Bonnot)

Battle of Matewan, West Virginia

May 19, 1920. Private agents from the Baldwin-Felts detective agency battled with the local sheriff, the town's mayor, and a group of coal miners, over an attempt by Baldwin-Felts agents to evict coal miners from their homes during a strike.[1]

Deaths: Townspeople: 3; Baldwin-Felts: 7

See: Battle of Matewan, Matewan (film about the shootout)

Bonnie and Clyde; Joplin, Missouri

March 22, 1933. Bonnie Parker & Clyde Barrow and their friends entered a firefight with the local police who had been sent to investigate them in Joplin, Missouri.

Deaths: Lawmen: 2; Bonnie and Clyde: 0

The Kansas City Massacre

June 17, 1933. Kansas City, Missouri. In an attempt to free their friend, a criminal gang ambushed seven FBI agents and Kansas City police at the train station as they were escorting captured fugitive Frank Nash back to prison. The FBI agents were unarmed, but the local police exchanged fire with the criminal gang. The gang unintentionally killed Nash along with the law officers.

The FBI claimed that the gang included Charles "Pretty Boy" Floyd, but the evidence is debatable and seems to contraindicate Floyd's presence.

Deaths: Kansas City Police: 2; Oklahoma police: 1, FBI: 1; Nash: 1; Gang: 0

Little Bohemia

April 22, 1934. Manitowish Waters, Wisconsin. A team of FBI Agents led by Special Agent Melvin Purvis attempted to ambush bank robber John Dillinger and his gang at the Little Bohemia Lodge, a hotel and restaurant being used as a hideout. The ambush was botched when a truck full of Civilian Conservation Corps workers, who had been dining at the Lodge, was misidentified as Dillinger's men by the Agents, who opened fire, killing one of the civilians and wounding two more. Dillinger and his men briefly exchanged gunfire with Purvis's men before fleeing out the back of the lodge. FBI Agent W. Carter Baum was killed, and another agent wounded, by Baby Face Nelson during the gang's escape.

Deaths: FBI: 1; Civilians: 1; Dillinger's gang: 0

Battle of Barrington

November 27, 1934. Barrington, Illinois. Notorious bank robber Lester Gillis/George "Baby Face" Nelson, his wife Helen, and gang member John Chase, encountered an FBI car driven by Agents Thomas Dade and William Ryan on a highway outside Barrington. Nelson pursued the FBI Agents, exchanging gunfire with them, until his car was disabled. Two more agents, Herman Hollis and Sam Cowley, arrived on the scene and engaged Nelson and Chase in a shootout. Though Nelson was wounded seventeen times by the Agents, he and Chase were able to fatally injure both Hollis and Cowley. Nelson escaped, only to die that evening from his injuries.

Deaths: FBI: 2; Nelson: 1

Ma Barker

January 16, 1935. Ma Barker and her gang were slain by the FBI during a shootout in the area near Ocala, Florida.

Deaths: Barkers: 2(?); Lawmen: 0(?)

The Palace Chophouse shootout

October 23, 1935. Gangster Dutch Schultz and cronies battle with rival mobsters from Murder, Inc. at Schultz’s headquarters in the Palace Chophouse restaurant in Newark, New Jersey.

Deaths: Schultz gang: 4; Murder, Inc.: 0

Truman assassination attempt

November 1, 1950. Puerto Rican nationalists Oscar Collazo and Griselio Torresola got into a shootout with officers of the Capitol police and Secret Service while attempting to break into the Blair House and assassinate president Harry Truman. By the end of the gun battle, Torresola and officer Leslie Coffelt were killed in an event that firearms instructor Massad Ayoob called "the boldest attempt at home invasion in modern history".[2]

Deaths: Police: 1; Assassins: 1

Austin Tower Sniper

August 1, 1966. Charles Whitman barricaded himself at the top of the tower at the University of Texas at Austin and proceeded to fire randomly from the tower. He was killed in a final shootout when his perch was stormed by Austin police.

Deaths: 14 (including Whitman)

Newhall Massacre

On April 6, 1970, California Highway Patrol officers engaged heavily armed criminals Bobby Davis and Jack Twining in a shootout in the parking lot of a restaurant near Newhall, California. In a span of five minutes, Davis and Twining killed four CHP officers, making it the deadliest day in the history of Californian law enforcement.

Davis was later arrested, while Twining killed himself following a long standoff with police.

Deaths: CHP officers: 4; Twining: 1

Marin County Courthouse Shootout

August 7, 1970. In an attempt to free his brother, imprisoned Black Panther leader George Jackson, 17-year old Jonathan Jackson entered a courthouse in Marin County, California with an arsenal of weapons. After storming into a room where a trial was taking place, Jackson armed defendant James McClain, who was on trial for murdering a prison guard, and two fellow convicts who were participating in the trial as witnesses, William Christmas and Ruchell Magee. The four armed men then took the judge, a district attorney and three jurors hostage, and marched them out of the courthouse into a waiting getaway van.

As they attempted to flee the scene, a shootout broke out between the hostage takers and Marin County Sheriffs deputies providing security at the courthouse. By the end of the gun battle, Jackson, McClain, Christmas, and judge Harold Haley were killed. According to the other hostages, Haley was executed by the hostage takers with a shotgun that had been taped to his throat. Magee was severely injured, but survived the battle and was sentenced to life in prison. One Juror and the D.A. were also wounded. One of the weapons used by Jackson was later traced to Black Panther icon Angela Davis, who was later tried (but acquitted) for participation in the crime.

Deaths: Suspects: 3; Hostages: 1

1972 Munich Olympic Massacre

September 6, 1972. Palestinian terrorists took nine Israeli athletes hostage at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, Germany. A shootout with the German police occurred at the airport in Munich when the kidnappers attempted to escape with their hostages.

Deaths: Israelis: 9; terrorists: 6; police: 1

Symbionese Liberation Army

May 17, 1974. A violent shootout in Los Angeles between the SLA and 400 law enforcement officers from Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), FBI, and California Highway Patrol in Los Angeles, California.

Deaths: SLA: 6; Law officers: 0

Pine Ridge Shootout

June 26, 1975. A confrontation and gun battle between American Indian Movement (AIM) activists and the FBI on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.

Deaths: FBI: 2; AIM: 1

Entebbe hostage rescue

July 4, 1976. Israeli forces landed covertly at the Entebbe International Airport near Kampala, Uganda in a daring international hostage-rescue mission. A three-way shootout occurred between the Israelis, the terrorists, and Ugandan armed forces.

Deaths: Ugandan forces: 45; Terrorists: 6; Hostages: 3; Israeli forces: 1

Golden Dragon Massacre

September 4, 1977. The massacre took place at 2:30 a.m. at the Golden Dragon restaurant in San Francisco, California. A longstanding feud between two rival Chinatown gangs, the Joe Boys and Wah Ching, came to head when a botched assassination attempt by the Joe Boys at the restaurant led to 5 people, including 2 tourists, being killed, and 11 people being injured. The assassination attempt came about after members of Wah Ching vandalized the graves of Joe Boys' members, breaking an unspoken taboo of respecting the dead.

Deaths: Bystanders: 5; Gang members: 0

Operation Storm-333

(«Шторм-333») was the name of the Soviet operation on December 27, 1979 which marked the beginning of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Backed by 600 Soviet Army troops, Spetsnaz operatives stormed the Tajbeg Palace in Kabul, assassinating Afghan President Hafizullah Amin and taking out his 200 personal bodyguards in the process. Alpha Group veterans describe Storm-333 as the elite unit's most successful mission; of the 19 Soviet fatalities, only 5 were Spetsnaz operatives - furthermore, only 2 of these were from Spetsgruppa Alfa.

Deaths: USSR: 19; Amin/bodyguards: 200


MOVE was a back-to-nature, anti-technology group in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the 1970s and 1980s. They were involved in two shootouts with the Philadelphia police.

August 8, 1978, Powelton Village. During an attempt to forcibly remove the group from the home in which they were living, a shootout took place between the police and the group; one police officer was killed. Nine of the group members were tried and sentenced for murder.

Deaths: Police: 1; MOVE: 0

May 13, 1985, Osage Avenue. In a failed attempt to serve arrest warrants on four members of the group, Philadelphia police became engaged in a gun battle at MOVE’s communal residence. About 10,000 rounds of ammunition were fired by the police. The police dropped a bomb on the house, starting a fire which burned down 62 houses and killed 11 people.

Deaths: MOVE: 11 (6 adults, 5 children); Police: 0

Norco Bank Robbery Shootout

May 9, 1980. Prolonged shootout and chase between police in Norco, California, and five heavily armed bank robbers wearing military-style fatigues and armed with assault rifles, thousands of rounds of hollow-point bullets as well as various explosive and incendiary devices. Police responded to a bank robbery call in Norco. Upon arriving the police were ambushed and outgunned. After unloading over 300 rounds at police cruisers, the officers were forced to retreat behind their cruisers or nearby obstacles, all the while being fired at. The suspects attempted to escape in their own vehicle. During this attempt, the driver of the suspects was killed by a stray police shot. The suspects then hijacked a nearby vehicle and became involved in a prolonged chase, in which the suspects shot at police and disabled and destroyed 33 police vehicles (as well as civilian cars) with explosive's thrown from the back of a truck. The suspects also disabled a police helicopter by shooting at it. Later, the suspects lay in wait for police as they chased them, and ambushed them, resulting in the death of a police officer and wounding 2 others. Heavily outgunned, the police were pinned down until one officer arrived with an AR-15. After the police engaged the suspects with the AR-15, the suspects fled. One of the suspects was killed in the shootout, one during a later standoff with the police the next day, and three were later captured. 8 officers were also wounded during the events.[3][4]

Deaths: Suspects: 2; Police: 1

Brinks Armoured Truck Robbery

October 20, 1981. An attempted armed robbery of a Brinks armored truck by members of the Weather Underground and Black Liberation Army resulted in a shootout and the deaths of two police officers and a Brinks security guard in Nyack, New York. The robbers, wearing body armor and equipped with assault rifles, initially ambushed the armored truck when it was parked at a shopping mall, killing Brinks guard Pete Paige and wounding his partner. After taking 1.6 million dollars in cash and attempting to flee in a U-Haul truck, they were stopped at a roadblock set up by police. In a second shootout, police officers Waverly Brown and Ed O'Grady were killed and the robbers fled the scene in several different directions. Four of the robbers were arrested during their escape attempt, and more than six other people involved were arrested in subsequent investigations over the next several years. The last arrest was made in 1986.

Deaths: Suspects: 0; Police: 2; Brinks Guards: 1

Gordon Kahl

February 13, 1983. Tax protester Gordon Kahl traded shots with U.S. Marshals when they attempted to arrest him in Medina, North Dakota.

Deaths: U.S. Marshals: 2; Kahl: 0

June 3, 1983. Gordon Kahl was killed in a shootout with federal agents and the local sheriff in Smithville, Arkansas, in the house where he was hiding out.

Deaths: Kahl: 1; Sheriff: 1

FBI Miami Shootout

April 11, 1986. Two FBI agents and two suspects were killed in a prolonged shootout between the FBI and bank-robbery suspects William Matix and Michael Platt in Miami, Florida.

Deaths: FBI: 2; Suspects: 2

1991 Lokhandwala Complex shootout

November 16, 1991. Additional Commissioner of Police (ACP) Aftab Ahmed Khan, head of the ATS led a force of almost 100 policemen and ATS officers and attacked the Swati building at the Lokhandwala Complex in Bombay. In the ensuing shootout which lasted four hours, 450 rounds were fired and seven gangsters belonging to the D-Company were killed, including Maya Dolas, Dilip Buwa and Anil Pawar.[5]

Deaths: Gangsters: 7; ATS and Mumbai police: 0

Injuries: Gangsters: 0; ATS and Mumbai police: 2

Ruby Ridge

August 1992. In a 10-day siege, agents of the BATF, FBI, and U.S. Marshals shot it out with survivalist Randy Weaver and his family in the wilderness near Bonners Ferry, Idaho.

Deaths: Weavers: 2 (and 1 dog); Federal agents: 1

Branch Davidian Siege

February 28–April 19, 1993. Members of the Branch Davidian sect exchanged gunfire with federal agents of the BATF raiding their compound building, initiating a 51-day siege by the FBI near Waco, Texas.

Deaths: Branch Davidians: 6 (and 76 on April 19); BATF: 4

Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Headquarters Shootout

November 22, 1994. Ex-con Bennie Lee Lawson entered the Cold Case Squad room at the D.C. Metropolitan Police headquarters armed with a semi-automatic rifle and opened fire killing FBI Special Agents Martha Dixon Martinez and Michael Miller, and D.C. Metro Police Sergeant Henry Daly; and seriously wounding FBI Special Agent John Kuchta before killing himself.

Deaths: Police: 1; FBI: 2; Suspects: 1

North Hollywood Shootout

February 28, 1997. Following a (foiled) bank robbery in North Hollywood, California, two heavily armed and armored bank robbers shot it out with about 375 officers of the Los Angeles Police Department for 45 minutes.

The only deaths were the two bank robbers, Larry Eugene Phillips, Jr. and Emil Dechebal Matasareanu; however, 12 police officers and 8 civilians were injured.

Tyler Courthouse shootout

February 24, 2005. David Hernandez Arroyo attacked his ex-wife, Maribel Estrada, and her son outside the courthouse in Tyler, Texas. Arroyo was armed with a semi-automatic MAK-90 (AK-47 clone with a semi-automatic receiver) rifle. Mrs. Estrada was shot in the head and died; her son was shot in the leg but recovered. The shots immediately brought a response from nearby sheriff’s deputies and Tyler Police. Arroyo began trading gunfire with the officers, who were armed only with pistols, and forced them to retreat, wounding several of them. A passing citizen, Mark Allen Wilson, drew his own pistol and attempted to aid the officers but Arroyo was wearing body armor and Wilson's pistol failed to stop him and Wilson was shot and killed by Arroyo. Afterward, Arroyo jumped in his pickup and led police on a high-speed chase, exchanging gunfire along the way. Arroyo was eventually shot and killed by a responding officer armed with a CAR-15 rifle.

Deaths: 3 (Arroyo, Estrada and Wilson)

Mayerthorpe Incident

On March 3, 2005 James Roszko ambushed and killed Royal Canadian Mounted Police constables Peter Schiemann, Anthony Gordon, Lionide Johnston and Brock Myrol with an illegal HK-91 rifle during a stake-out, resulting in a shootout with other present RCMP officers in which Roszko committed suicide after being wounded.

Deaths: RCMP: 4; James Roszko: 1

Toddler dies in shootout

July 10, 2005, Los Angeles, California. José Raul Peña, while high on cocaine, threatened his wife, took his 19-month-old daughter Suzie Marie Lopez (or Susie Marie Peña) hostage, then used the child as a human shield while he exchanged fire with the LAPD SWAT team. Peña (using a 9 mm handgun and a shotgun) fired more than 40 shots at the police, and the police fired more than 100 rounds at Peña.[6][7]

Deaths: 2 (Peña and child)

Spiritwood incident

July 7, 2006. Constables Robin Cameron and Marc Bourdages of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police were both shot in the head through the windshield of their cruiser after a 27 km car chase and shootout with Curtis Dagenais in rural Saskatchewan.

Deaths: RCMP: 2; Dagenais: 0

Scott Barnaby

On April 24, 2007, Scott Barnaby of South Bend, Indiana shot at officers outside his motel room. Barnaby and five officers were killed, and another officer was injured. Gun dealer Ronald Wedge was found guilty of selling a gun to Barnaby illegally, and was sentenced to ten months in prison.[8][9]

Deaths: Barnaby: 1; Police: 1

2009 Oakland shootings

On March 21, 2009, four Oakland police officers and the suspect were killed in a shootout.

Deaths: Suspect: 1; Police: 4

2009 Pittsburgh police shootings

The 2009 Pittsburgh police shootings was a shootout that took place on Saturday, April 4, 2009, at 1016 Fairfield Street in the Stanton Heights neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States, stemming from an argument over a dog urinating in the house between a mother and her 22-year-old son. At approximately 7:11 a.m. EDT, 22-year-old Richard Poplawski opened fire on two Pittsburgh Police officers responding to a 911 call from Poplawski's mother, who was attempting to get the police officers to remove her son from the home. Three police officers were ultimately confirmed dead, and another two were seriously injured. Poplawski was armed with a semi-automatic AK-47-style rifle and two other guns, protected by a bullet proof vest, and had been lying in wait for the officers. According to police and witnesses, he held police at bay for four hours as the fallen officers were left bleeding nearby, their colleagues unable to reach them. More than 100 rounds were fired by the SWAT teams and Poplawski, who surrendered after suffering a gunshot wound to the leg.

Deaths: Pittsburgh Police: 3, Suspect: 0

Lakewood police officer shooting

On Sunday, November 29, 2009, four Lakewood, Washington police officers were shot and killed at a coffee shop in the Parkland unincorporated area of Pierce County, Washington, United States. One gunman entered the coffee shop, fired at the officers as they sat working on their laptop computers, and then fled the scene. After a 2-day manhunt that spanned several cities in the Puget Sound region, the alleged gunman was shot and killed by a Seattle Police Department officer in south Seattle.

Deaths: Suspect: 0 (killed two days later); Police: 4


  1. ^ The Battle of Matewan
  2. ^ Drama at Blair House: the attempted assassination of Harry Truman
  3. ^ Riverside sheriffs association account
  4. ^ Related news article about event
  5. ^ "'450 rounds were fired…like bullets were doing the talking'". Indian Express. May 20, 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-01. 
  6. ^ Toddler slain in police shootout had cocaine in system
  7. ^ L.A. Police Kill Gunman, Child in Shootout
  8. ^ Man Arrested For Selling Gun To Scott Barnaby
  9. ^ Gun dealer is sentenced to time in prison


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