Doc Holliday’s First Killing?

doc holliday true west
Illustration of Doc Holliday by Bob Boze Bell

On July 19, 1879 in Las Vegas, New Mexico a drunk Mike Gordon—either because of a problem with a girl or bad luck at the gaming tables—started randomly firing his gun outside a dance hall.

Somebody—maybe several somebodies—joined in the shooting.  After things calmed down, Gordon was found injured; he died a few hours later.  Legend says that Doc Holliday was the man who took out Gordon, in what would be the dentist’s first killing.  There’s no evidence of that.  And a coroner called it a justifiable homicide by a person unknown.

What do you think?

Mark Boardman

Mark Boardman is the features editor for True West Magazine as well as the editor of The Tombstone Epitaph. He also serves as pastor for Poplar Grove United Methodist Church in Indiana.