Two Very Different Versions of What Happened in Tombstone on October 26, 1881
Wyatt Earp's Version of Events
Ike Clanton's Version of Events
|1. The McLaurys and Clantons became upset when my brothers and I tried to enforce a promise that the Cowboys return mules they had stolen. The men mad "threats against our lives."
2. In subsequent months, the McLaurys continued to make threats against us.
3. Thinking that obtaining an arrest of the persons responsible for a recent stagecoach killing might aid my campaign to become sheriff, I made a secret promise with Ike Clanton to get him reward money if he would lead me to the men responsible--either dead or alive.
4. After midnight on October 26, Doc Holliday and Ike Clanton get into a quarrel and "they had to be separated by Virgil and Morgan (Earp)."
5. I tried to calm Ike Clanton down, but he threatened us, saying, "I will be ready for you in the morning."
6. The next morning I heard reports that Ike Clanton was "hunting us boys."
7. After Clanton was arrested and brought to court, Tom McLaury showed up and threatened "to make a fight." "I hit him on the head with my six-shooter and walked away."
8. Later, as I met with my brothers and Holliday at Fourth and Allen Streets, we heard that the McLaurys and the Clantons, "all armed," had gone into "the O.K. Corral." Virgil asked the assistance of myself, Morgan, and Doc in disarming them.
9. As we walked in the direction of the Clantons and McLaurys, Sheriff Behan told us, "I have disarmed them." We continued walking toward where we were told the Clantons and McLaurys would be.
10. When we saw them in the lot, Frank McLaury's and Billy Clanton's guns were plainly visible.
11. Virgil asked the men to surrender, saying, "Throw up your hands, I have come to disarm you."
12. At Virgil's words, Billy and Frank went for their guns.
13. When Billy and Frank drew their guns, I drew mine and fired at Frank. "The first two shots were fired by Billy Clanton and myself, he shooting at me, and I shooting at Frank McLaury." My shot hit Frank "in the belly," but he managed to get off a shot at me.
14. "After about four shots were fired, Ike Clanton ran up and grabbed my left arm." I told him to "go to fighting or get way" and pushed him off. I never fired at him "because I thought he was unarmed."
15. We believed Tom McLaury to be armed (even if it turns out that he wasn't). Holliday "fired and killed him" with a shotgun.
|1. After midnight on the 26th, Doc Holliday began cursing me in a saloon for no reason.
2. Morgan Earp arrived at the saloon and soon joined Holliday in cursing me and falsely accusing me of threatening the Earps.
3. Morgan Earp tells me "to be heeled" the next time that I see him.
4. While I'm playing poker at the Occidental Saloon later that night, Virgil Earp "buffaloes" me.
5. After I'm arrested by the Earps and taken to court on false charges of threatening a gunfight, Morgan and Virgil Earp make threats against me.
6. I saw the Earps and Hollidays coming down the street towards us as "we stood between the photograph gallery and the little house next to it." Behan met them and said, I think, "Hold on boys, don't go down there!" They "brushed right on by and did not stop."
7. As I and my brother and the McLaurys stood in the lot next to Fly's, the three Earp brothers and Holliday approached us and they "pulled their guns as they got there."
8. Virgil Earp said, "You sons-of-bitches, you have been looking for a fight, and you can have it!"
9. The Earps ordered us "to throw up our hands!"
10. "Billy Clanton threw up his hands," and I threw up mine, and "Tom McLaury threw open his coat and said, "I haven't got anything, boys, I am disarmed."
11. "Then the shooting commenced, right then, in an instant."
12. Doc Holliday fired the first shot at Tom McLaury.
13. Morgan Earp fired the second shot--so close to the first shot "that it was hard to distinguish them"--at my brother, Billy Clanton, from a distance of two or three feet as he is holding up his hands.
14. Tom "staggered backwards and Billy Clanton fell up against the corner of a window and laid himself down on the ground."
15. Virgil Earp fired the third shot, within a second or two of the first shot.
16. Wyatt Earp fired the fourth shot. He later shot at me, but I grabbed him and pushed him out of the way, and escaped into Fly's photo gallery and bullets whizzed by my head.
17. "There were about six or eight shots fired by the Earp party--they were fired in very quick succession."
18. "Billy Clanton drew his six-shooter" as "he lay on the ground and commenced shooting."
19. Frank McLaury was about "in the middle of Fremont Street when I first saw him with a six-shooter in his hand." Frank was "not exactly running" but "was getting pretty lively when he was shot that last time."