Is it true that Wyatt Earp killed only one man in Dodge City, Kansas?

James Crawley

Salem, Oregon

Maybe. On July 26, 1878, at about three a.m., a group of Texas cowboys galloped down the street and fired multiple shots into the Comique Theater, where vaudevillian Eddie Foy was performing. Deputy Marshal Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday and Bat and Jim Masterson had been watching the act; they all hit the floor when the bullets flew.

As the Texans headed out of town, Earp, Jim Masterson and a few others ran outside and opened up with gunfire. When the smoke cleared, young Texan George Hoy lay on the ground, badly hit in his arm. He died of his wounds a month later. Nobody knows whether Masterson, Earp or another shooter fired the fatal shot.

The National Police Gazette loved to sensationalize the cowtown shoot-outs, and the paper credited Earp with firing the shot that killed Hoy. This was the first, but not the last, time he made national news.

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