1934 Georgia Webbing and Tape Strike


The Columbus Enquirer
W. R. Sanders Dies Friday at Hospital Disorder at Georgia Webbing and Tape Company
Results in Tragedy Three Under Arrest
Officers Fail to Determine Who Fired Fatal Shot During Disturbance
William Reuben Sanders, 30-year old textile worker, of 1408 Eleventh avenue, died at the city hospital at 5:55 o'clock last night as the result of a bullet  wound which he received during an affray between strikers, strike sympathizers  and employees at the Georgia Webbing and Tape company yesterday afternoon and three men are being held in the Muscogee county jail without bond pending further investigation of the shooting.
Those who are being held in jail are: G. D. Beasley, 42, 1426 Fifteenth avenue, whose pistol was fired twice during the melee; G. E. Clarke, 36, of 711 Tenth avenue, Phenix City, who is alleged to have had a hold on Mr. Beasley's pistol at the time it was fired; and J. H. Tipper, 30, of 1600 Fifteenth street, in whose possession a pistol was found and whom witnesses told police fired one shot.
Beasley Driving Auto
Mr. Beasley, who has been an employee of the webbing and tape company for nine  years, was attempting to drive his automobile through the picket line at the mill when the affray started. He had been at work in the mill and was attempting to leave to go home. In the car with Mr. Beasley were his wife, Mrs. Beasley, Mr. Tipper and his wife; Roy Lambert, 25, of 1549 Fifteenth avenue and Mrs. Louisa Upchurch. The man who was killed had been in the picket line.
In addition to the fatal pistol wound suffered by Mr. Sanders, Mr. Lambert suffered a severe laceration of the scalp and Newton Taylor, of 1402 Tenth avenue, suffered a laceration of the face.
The situation was tense at the scene of the strike following the shooting.
City police, county police and Sheriff C. C. Layfield and deputies went to the scene. Some of the officers were equipped with teargas, but it was not necessary to use it to disperse the crowd. Leaders, advised by officers to do so, advised the crowd to break up, warning them that police would use the tear gas if necessary.
-Sister-in-Law Struck
Mr. Beasley told an Enquirer reporter last night when he attempted to drive his car through the picket line, a man whose identity he did not know, jumped on the side of the auto and struck Mrs. Tipper, who is a sister of Mrs. Beasley. He said that, with the car moving slowly in low gear, he drove into a field near the mill. He stated that he had taken his pistol, a .38 calibre Colt, from the pocket of the car and placed it on the front seat of the car. After he had driven into the field, he picked up the weapon, Mr. Beasley said. It was then that a man whose name Mr. Beasley did not know but who officers said was Mr. Clarke, got into the car on the side opposite the driver and attempted to take the pistol from him. City Officers C. V. Cooksey and L. H. Raines, who had attempted to clear a way throught the picket line in order that the car might pass, were beside the vehicle at the time. Officers H. J. Jambon and F. L. Griffin approached the car and they attempted to take the weapon away from Mr. Beasley before he could fire it. Officer Jambon stated that Mr. Beasley had the pistol in his hand and that Mr. Clarke was grappling with him, apparently trying to take the weapon away from him. The officer said that he begged Mr. Beasley not to fire the revolver.
-Pistol Fired
The pistol was then fired once, and a moment later was fired a second time. Officer Griffin said that he made a determined effort to prevent Mr. Beasley from firing the weapon and that at the time the second shot was discharged he had his hand on the barrel of the gun. Officer Jambon said that he finally succeeded in taking the pistol way from Mr. Beasley and Mr. Clarke. Officer Raines was also making an effort to prevent the shooting and was standing so close that he suffered a slight powder burn on the arm when the pistol was fired. Mr. Tipper was sitting on the back seat of the automobile which was being driven by Mr. Beasley. Chief Homer W. Cornett, who with other officers arrived on the scene a short while after the shooting, took a .44 Colt revolver from him. The chief said that the weapon was fully loaded with full cartridges. Mr. Tipper was lodged in jail on a charge of carrying a pistol without a license. He was released from jail under bond later in the afternoon, but was rearrested when witnesses told officers that they were positive that he fired one shot at or about the same time Mr. Beasley's pistol was discharged. They did not know whether he fired the same pistol which was taken from him by police and reloaded it or whether he had a second weapon.
-Witness is Quoted
Mrs. Hattie Anthony, of 1117 Fourteenth street, was one of the witnesses who told officers that Mr. Tipper fired one shot. She said she saw him discharge his pistol and that it was that shot which struck Mr. Sanders. Several others corroborated her statement, including J. R. Helms of 1510 Twelfth avenue, and Mrs. Susie Whatley, of 908 Ninth street. Witnesses told officers that he fired from the back seat of the auto, out the side and toward the place where Mr. Sanders was standing on the right side of  the car about even with the driver's seat. Mr. Tipper denied that he fired. During his discussion of the case yesterday, Mr. Beasley denied that he was touching the trigger of his pistol at the time it was discharged, although he admitted having his hand on the weapon at the time. He said that at least four people were scuffling over the pistol, including his wife, Mrs. Beasley, an officer whose name he did not know, another man whose name he did not know, and himself.
-Lacerations Suffered
Mr. Lambert having been slashed by an unidentified person in the melee which accompanied the shooting, he was taken to the hospital by Mr. Beasley, who was taken to the county jail a few minutes later. Mr. Taylor, who suffered a cut on the face, was taken to the hospital by John Macon, of Eleventh avenue, and Mr. Clarke and Mr. Sanders were taken to the hospital by police. All of the injured were dismissed from the hospital after emergency treatment, with the exception of Mr. Sanders. It was found that the bullet had entered Mr. Sanders' face under the left eye and had ranged downward into his throat. His condition was considered critical at the time he was taken to the hospital, a few minutes after 2 o'clock yesterday afternoon, and his death followed at 5:55 o'clock last night. The strike which led to the tragedy yesterday occurred several weeks ago when a part of the employees of the plant walked out, resulting in the closing of the plant and it was stated that it would probably be closed until early fall.
-Ordered to Work
A small force of non-strikers was ordered to report for work yesterday, the employers planning to operate on a limited scale. Eight people went to work  yesterday morning and when the information spread among the strikers a picket line was formed. The affray resulted when Mr. Beasley and the others with him attempted to pass through the picket line about 2 o'clock yesterday afternoon. Mr. Sanders, the victim of the shooting, was a member of Textile Union No. 1605. He was an employee (this is all the article I have, it does not say it was continued)

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