Patrick F. O’Neill attempted to rescue Edward J. Hollister, 45, prison guard, and other persons from homicidal attack, Canon City, Colorado, October 3, 1929. Four desperate prisoners, who were armed with guns, shot and killed several guards at the Colorado State Penitentiary, locked 12 of the guards in cells, and then sent word to the warden that unless the rioters were allowed their freedom by a given time, the guards in their custody would be killed. The warden refused. At the appointed time, one of the guards was shot and killed, and his body, in the charge of one of the guards, was sent to the warden as a warning of what would happen to the others. At intervals other guards were killed, and one who acted as a messenger escaped. The rioters were barricaded in a cell house 100 feet from the gate of the penitentiary yard, and a plan was made to dynamite the wall of the cell house, rush armed men in darkness through the opening, and subdue the rioters. O’Neill, 43, teacher, who had no experience in handling dynamite, volunteered to place the charge alongside the building. Lights in the yard were extinguished, and he carried 25 pounds of dynamite from the gate to the cell house. Guards at the the gate and wall sought to protect him as he ran by directing heavy rifle fire at the cell house windows. Wires which were attached to the charge accidentally became disconnected and were pulled back to the gate when it was discovered the charge could not be set off. O’Neill later carried another 25-pound charge of dynamite to the ceIl house. The dynamite was exploded but without the expected effect upon the wall. Later tear gas bombs were thrown toward the cell house, and the leader of the rioters, becoming hopeless of escaping, killed his companions and then himself, after having shot all of the remaining guards, save one, whom he wished to favor. Two of the wounded captive guards recovered.
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