Virginian in 1910--Assault

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Bluefield Daily Telegraph
November 18, 1910

D. R. Shirley Sandbagged Near Spot Where M. M. Spence Was Killed
Pockets Rifled While He Was Unconscious and It Is Not Thought His Assailant Had Any Motive Other Than Robbery
Roanoke, Va., November 17--Another Virginian yard conductor came near being murdered early this morning in the west end yard, not far from the place where M. M.Spence was killed by Pomp Scott.
In this case robbery from the person was the motive and the conductor, D. Roscoe Shirley, of 601 First avenue, n. w., was given a knock-out blow that rendered him unconscious for three hours.
Mr. Shirley, who is night conductor, went up in the yard to make a cut in a train going west. The train was to haul eighty cars, and he had to cut it down to that number. He was between a line of cars near the place where Spence caught Scott robbing a car, and was engaged in counting the cars when he was struck on the head and knocked out. Brakeman Fisher, who was on the train, was expecting a signal from Shirley, and none coming he walked along on the train in the direction where he was supposed to be. He noticed something dark on the ground between the cars and heard a scratching noise. Upon getting down and investigating, he found Shirley lying on the ground unconscious. He gave the alarm and trainmen came and took Mr. Shirley had received a severe blow on the back of the hear, but the skull was not fractured and the injury is not considered serious. The fact that there was no obtrusion would indicate that he was struck with a sandbag. He regained consciousness about 6 o'clock, and then discovered that he had been robbed.
When he left home in the afternoon his wife had given him $10, out of which he had paid a bill of $2.50, which left $7.50 which was taken from his pocket. He said he was walking along counting the cars, and did not see anyone, and after the blow he knew nothing until he regained consciousness, at the freight depot three hours afterward.
Between 1 and 2 o'clock this morning Police Officer J. Floyd Thompson shot and killed Izona Wilson, a negro [sic]. The negro was found hiding under a short trestle in the wholesale district by Conductor Ferguson, who suspected him of being a car robber. The conductor summoned Officer Thompson, The latter after asking the negro what he was doing requested him to remove his hands from his pockets. At the third request Wilson did so, but with his right hand he pulled out a pistol which he was in the act of raising to shoot the office when Thompson fired twice. The negro ran about forty feet, then fell forward on his face, dead.
Gordon Hamilton
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