Jeff Kidder AZ Ranger Death Roscoe Wilson Republic 29 Dec 1968

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Jeff Kidder AZ Ranger Death Roscoe Wilson Republic 29 Dec 1968 - DEATH ON THE BORDER The Arizona Rangers,...
DEATH ON THE BORDER The Arizona Rangers, organized in 1901 and disbanded in 1909, were a group of unusually hardy and capable peace officers. Ranger Sgt. Jeff Kidder, one of the most seasoned gunmen of this group, rode into Nogales on April 1, 1908, put his horse in Al Peck's livery stable and walked up to the post office on Grand Avenue for his mail. Among the letters that Jeff received that day from Postmaster Bohall was one from his commanding officer, Capt. Harry Wheeler, informing him that his term of enlistment in the Rangers was about to expire and requesting him to come to headquarters at Bisbee to sign up for another term. The next day Jeff saddled up, rode out through the Patagonias and across the San Rafael Valley to John Sutherland's Bootjack Ranch. He spent the night there with old bachelor John. The following morning he rode through Montezuma Pass, in the south end of the Huachucas, and arrived at the little border town of Naco late in the afternoon. Here he learned from Customs Service line rider friends that Captain Wheeler and a couple of rangers were chasing horse thieves in the Chiricahua Mountains. This news left Jeff with time on his hands and he decided to spend a little of it in Naco. There was no eating place on the American side so he crossed the line into Naco, Sonora, and ate at the combination restaurant, saloon and gambling house. He was well acquainted with the people of Naco, Sonora, most of whom were customs or immigration officials, or rurales who maintained a barracks there. Jeff spoke Spanish fluently and passed the evening in a manner typical of the times, taking an occasional drink here and there, playing a few dollars on roulette or monte and, finally, about 1 o'clock on the morning of April 4 he decided to go back across the line. He stopped to talk with a couple of waitresses in the deserted restaurant where he had eaten his supper and just as he opened the door into the barroom he discovered that his money was gone from his pocket where he habitually carried it. Still standing in the doorway, he turned and accused one of the girls, Chia, of robbing him. Instantly Chia screamed, "Policia! Policia!" Two members of the Naco, Sonora, police department, Tomas Amador and Dolores Quiz, were drinking at the bar. When Chia screamed they turned, saw Jeff in the doorway and both pulled their guns. Amador fired a shot which entered Jeff's abdomen and came out through his back. Jeff fell to the floor, pulling his gun as he went down and returned the fire as he lay there. Although both Amador and Quiz emptied their guns at him, somehow none of their additional shots hit Jeff, while from his prone position, fatally wounded, he shot Quiz through the body and Amador in the leg, firing until his gun was empty. With the sound of the shooting, em- ployes of the cantina swarmed into the place and, as the bartender related it, would have killed Jeff had he (the bartender) not prevented it. It would seem, however, that fear of Jeff's gun was the principal restraint. With the two Mexican officers on the floor, their guns empty and their wounds being attended to by the em- ployes, Jeff reloaded his gun with shells from his pocket, dizzily gained his feet and staggered sidewise to the door, keeping his gun on the crowd as he went. He made it safely through the door but, weakened, sank to a sitting position on the steps where he remained for a few moments, hazily trying in the dark to get his bearings on the international fence. By the time Jeff reached the curb outside the door, all the rurales and policemen in Naco had been rounded up by the chief of police and, armed with rifles and pistols, they began blazing away at Jeff's shadowy form. Gritting his teeth, Jeff got to his feet and staggered about 75 yards towards the line, firing an occasional shot to keep his attackers at a distance. He did not know it, but he nicked the chief of police with one of his shots. He collapsed again, but after falling to the ground, purposely rolled over and over for about 20 feet before coming to rest. With bullets flying around him

Clipped from
  1. Arizona Republic,
  2. 29 Dec 1968, Sun,
  3. Page 189

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  • Jeff Kidder AZ Ranger Death Roscoe Wilson Republic 29 Dec 1968

    virgilalexander – 06 Dec 2014

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