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Crowley Signal September 10, 1904

Will Bruner and Joseph Trahan were shot and instantly killed by Homer Meche at Coulee Croche, fifteen miles northeast of this city, late Friday evening.  The shooting occurred in front of Ernest Higginbotham’s store and from accounts appears to have been cold blooded, unprovoked affair.

Meche who was under the influence of liquor, was out for trouble and seemed to be particularly anxious to pick a quarrel with Mr. Higginbotham.  He rode up and down the street in from of Higginbotham’s store, flashing a revolver, cursing and threatening the proprietor and daring him out in the street.  Bruner and Trahan were standing in front of the store conversing quietly when the angry young man turned his abuse against them.  He dismounted from his horse and walked up to them calling them abusive names.  Trahan told him to stop, but that only made him worse, whereupon Trahan slapped him in the face.  Meche told him in loud angry tone to be careful what he did, but Trahan, who seems to have lost his temper at the abuse heaped on him, slapped Meche again, when the latter drew a revolver and fired twice, both bullets taking deadly effect.

Meche then remounted his horse and as he started to ride away turned and fired two shots at Bruner, who had backed away from the scene of the trouble.  Both shots struck Bruner in the breast and either would have proved fatal.

The first shot fired at Trahan took effect in the left breast just below the heart and would have proved fatal.  The second struck him in the right side and passed through the intestines.  This shot was also fatal.  Bruner was struck in the breast, the first shot severing the main artery.  The second struck about three inches lower down.  Bruner was killed instantly and Trahan lived about 20 minutes.

After the shooting Meche rode to his home nearby and commenced at the fowls in the barnyard.  His step-mother came out of the house and asked him to desist when he leveled the gun at her and pulled the trigger.  The gun missed fire or he would probably have had another murder to answer for.

Sheriff Murrell and Coroner Mouton were notified of the shooting shortly after it occurred and the sheriff left this city about 8 o’clock Friday night for the scene of the crime.  Meche was still under the influence of liquor when the sheriff arrived and threatened to shoot the officers if they tried to arrest him.  Sheriff Murrel waited for the man to cool down before trying to take him, but in the meantime Deputy Sheriff Eugene Thibodeaux caught the murder napping and took him in custody and turned him over to the sheriff.  He was brought to Crowley Saturday morning and lodged in jail.

The murdered men are both quite well known over the parish.  Mr. Bruner is the brother of Judge E. O. Bruner of Rayne and has a number of friends in Crowley.  He was fifty-two years old and leaves a family.  Mr. Trahan was forty-five years old and also has a family.

Meche is a young man about nineteen years of age and is said to come from a good family.

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Project Coordinator:    Bryant W. Walker
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