Gene Notes

Some random and some not-so-random thoughts on family history.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thriller Thursday - Accidental Shooting of Sidney E. DeLong

From the Lexington Leader, June 23, 1932:


Paint Salesman is Struck by Shot While in Basement of Bank

  Sidney E. DeLong, 49, 720 Sunset drive, paint salesman, died at St. Joseph's hospital at 10:45 o'clock this morning, 45 minutes after an accidental shot struck him in the abdomen while he was in the basement of the First National Bank and Trust Company building at west Main street and Cheapside.

  Mr. DeLong was shot when a pistol Billy Courtney, 17, 229 South Hanover avenue, was handling accidentally discharged. Young Courtney is the son of William H. Courtney, president of the banking company. He had been employed in the bank basement for several days sorting checks, and with Mr. DeLong and John A. Gross, Newtown pike, custodian of the building, had been examining the gun.

  Young Courtney said he thought the gun was unloaded, and had been told it was "on safety."

  Mr. Gross had started to grease the pistol, when Mr. DeLong and the Courtney boy took the weapon for closer examination. Mr. DeLong had gone to the bank to see Mr. Gross about an order of paint.

  Mr. DeLong's wife, Mrs. Nell Wallis DeLong, and two of his brothers, George E. DeLong, Fayette circuit clerk, and John B. DeLong, 522 west Third street, were notified immediately. George DeLong accompanied his brother to the hospital in the ambulance.

  Mr. Gross turned the pistol, a Luger automatic, over to Capt. Thomas P. Hanley, Lieut. J. Howard Wills and Detectives John L. Sellers and Ed Wiseman, who investigated the accident.

  Mr. Gross said he had taken the pistol from his office on the fourth floor to the basement room to clean and grease it. It had one cartridge in the barrel, and the magazine was out.

 The custodian said he had just introduced Mr. DeLong and young Courtney, who had not previously known each other. They had shaken hands, and Mr. DeLong had remarked on Billy's resemblance to his father.

  Mr. Gross turned to get some rags off a shelf, and heard the shot. When he turned Mr. DeLong said, "I'm shot - I'm going to die."

  In his excitement, Mr. Gross exclaimed, "Sid, I told you it was loaded - why did you fool with it?" He said Mr. DeLong shook his head weakly, apparently unable to speak.

  Mr. Gross said it was impossible for him to tell in whose hands the gun was at the time it discharged, since both Mr. DeLong and young Courtney were looking at it  and standing very close together.

  Young Courtney, immediately after the shooting, ran upstairs into the main corridor of the bank into his father's office. His father was in attendance at the Kentucky State Bankers' Association meeting at the Lafayette hotel, and the boy hurried there, where he told his father what had occurred.

  Mr. DeLong was a member of a prominent old Fayette county family. He was a son of Mrs. Etta Berkley DeLong and the late A. A. DeLong. Besides his mother, his is survived by his wife, Mrs. Nell Wallis DeLong; a daughter, Miss Sarah Elizabeth DeLong; a son, Sidney Wallis DeLong; three brothers, George E. DeLong and John B. DeLong, Lexington, and Arthur A. DeLong Jessamine county, and by three sisters, Mrs. Merrit O'Neal, Louisville, and Mrs. H. B. Tucker and Mrs. Francis Fox, both of Lexington.

  Mr. DeLong had been in the paint business in recent years, and before that had been a farmer. He was widely known and highly respected. He was a member of Immanuel Baptist church and was actively interested in church work.
Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

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