No. 421
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
February 19, 2019

Fool With a Gun

Mattie Salter killed by her brother, who didn’t know it was loaded, Sandersville, Ga.

Miss Mattie Salter died recently at her home, two miles east of Sandersville, Ga. From the effects of a rifle ball fired by her brother. John Salter had come in to dinner, bringing a loaded rifle, which he laid on a bed. After finishing dinner, he picked up the rifle, pointed it at his sister, who was in an adjoining room, told her to look out and pulled the trigger.

The ball entered behind the ear and lodged in her head. She suffered intense pain and for several days had been in an unconscious condition. Her vitality was remarkable, considering the serious ness of the wound. Salter stated that he did not know the rifle was cocked. No coroner’s inquest was held, as her death was caused by accident and the act of her brother was simply carelessness.

Reprinted from National Police Gazette, December 9, 1893.

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