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BATTLE WAY OUT

DATE OF EVENT: Thursday, July 20, 1933

DATE PUBLISHED: Thursday, July 20, 1933, in The Kansas City Times

Editor’s note: The “strange actions” of travelers staying at a Platte County motor court attracted the attention of law enforcement and led to a gunbattle between police and the outlaws. One of the couples: Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow. The other man was thought to be Clyde’s brother, “Buck” Barrow. Authorities exchanged fire with the criminals, who escaped in a new Ford V-8.

Two men, believed to be the Barrow brothers, notorious criminals, fought their way through a cordon of police officers at a cabin camp south of Platte City, Mo., early today, and escaped after wounding three men. They took a woman companion with them.

One of the outlaws was believed to have been wounded in the encounter. He stumbled several times as he left the cabin, and blood-soaked rags were found in the building.

The two men, accompanied by the woman, went Tuesday night to the Red Crown cabin camp at the junction of U. S. highway No. 71 and state highway No. 59, six miles southeast of Platte City. They rented two cabins, storing a motor car in the parking place between the cabins. Yesterday one of the men drove to Platte City and purchased medicine.

A tip reached Holt Coffey, sheriff of Platte County, that the two men were Clyde Barrow and Ivy (Buck) Barrow, Texas outlaws who are wanted for murder near Joplin, Mo., and Alma, Ark.

Sheriff Coffey posted men to guard the cabins and asked the state highway patrol and Sheriff Thomas B. Bash of Jackson County for help. Capt. William Baxter of the highway patrol and several deputy sheriffs went to the scene.

With the arrival of reinforcements, Sheriff Coffey called upon the occupants to come out. Their reply was shots from within the cabins. One shot, presumably from a machine gun, hit Clarence Coffey, son of Sheriff Coffey, in the right arm and another grazed his cheek. Others hit George Highfill, Jackson County deputy sheriff, in the knees. They also were from a machine gun.

With that, the cabin door burst open and the two men and the woman rushed out and into their car. The officers fired at them. They said one of the men fell three times, but each time arose with the aid of the others and all three got into the car.

They backed it out of the parking stall under fire and made a dash for the highway. All the officers were shooting at them.

Holt Coffey, the sheriff, was hit by one of the outlaws’ bullets, suffering a slight wound in the neck. …

The Kansas City deputies had bullet-proof shields and Sheriff Coffey and Captain (William) Baxter, screened by them, went to the door of one of the cabins.

“This is Sheriff Coffey. Come out, I want to talk to you,” he said.

A woman’s voice answered, saying:

“As soon as we get dressed.”

The officers waited a few minutes and then the woman’s voice said:

“The men are on the other side.”

“You’d better come out,” said Sheriff Coffey, “or we’re going to start bombarding.”

Then the shooting from within the cabin began.

The Kansas City deputies, armed with one machine gun, started to fire. The gun jammed and could not be made to operate until after the fleeing men and woman had disappeared.

As the party came out of the cabin, the woman was screaming and partly carrying one of the men.

The car started toward St. Joseph. Police there and at Kansas City were notified to watch the highways…

When the cabins occupied by the three persons were inspected, rags smeared with dried blood were found, indicating that one or both of the men had been wounded previously…

The camp attendant said the three in the party had spent more than $10 for chicken dinners and other purchases at the camp.

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