Sam Strawhun and his pals had been wreaking havoc on John Bitter’s Saloon in Hays City, KS, early in the morning of September 27, 1869. Ellis County Sheriff Wild Bill Hickok showed up and told the drunken revelers to stop it. Hickok already had a reputation as a shootist, but that didn’t faze Strawhun.
The rowdy approached Wild Bill in a threatening manner—with an empty mug in hand. The lawman drew his pistol and killed Strawhun with one shot. A coroner’s jury cleared Hickok in the case, calling it justifiable homicide.