A shootout is a gun battle between armed groups. A shootout often, but not necessarily, pits law enforcement against criminal elements. A shootout may also involve two groups outside of law enforcement, such as rival gangs. A shootout in a military context (i.e., regularly constituted armed forces or even guerrilla or insurgent forces) would usually be considered a "battle" or "firefight" (depending on size), rather than a "shootout". Shootouts are often portrayed in action films.

Famous shootouts

Jesse James Northfield Bank Robbery

September 7, 1876. Jesse James, Cole Younger, and their gang attempt to rob a bank in Northfield, Minnesota. They exchange fire with the townspeople.

Deaths: James-Younger gang: 2; Northfield town: 2

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral

October 26, 1881. Wyatt Earp and his brothers, along with Doc Holliday engage in a firefight with the Clantons and McLaurys in Tombstone, Arizona.

Deaths: Clanton/McLaury: 3; Earp/Holliday: 0

Frisco Shootout

December 1, 1884. Legendary lawman Elfego Baca enters a gunbattle with 80 cowboys in Frisco (now Reserve), New Mexico.

Deaths: Cowboys: 4; Baca: 0

Jules Bonnot; Paris, France

April 28, 1912. 500 police officers, soldiers, firemen, and lynch mob participants exchange fire with anarchist Jules Bonnot in a Paris suburb. The conflict ends after police bomb the building in which Bonnot is taking cover.

Deaths: 1 (Bonnot)

Battle of Matewan, West Virginia

May 19, 1920. Private agents from the Baldwin-Felts detective agency battle with the local sheriff, the town's mayor, and a group of coal miners, over an attempt by Baldwin-Felts agents to evict coal miners from their homes during a strike. [ [ The Battle of Matewan] ]

Deaths: Townspeople: 3; Baldwin-Felts: 7

:"See: Battle of Matewan, Matewan (film about the shootout)"

Bonnie and Clyde; Joplin, Missouri

March 22, 1933. Bonnie Parker & Clyde Barrow and their friends enter a firefight with the local police who had been sent to investigate them in Joplin, Missouri.

Deaths: Lawmen: 2; Bonnie/Clyde: 0

The Kansas City Massacre

June 17, 1933. Kansas City, Missouri. In an attempt to free their friend, a criminal gang ambushed seven FBI agents and Kansas City police at the train station as they were escorting captured fugitive Frank Nash back to prison. The FBI agents were unarmed but the local police exchanged fire with the criminal gang. The gang unintentionally killed Nash along with the law officers.

The FBI claimed that the gang included Charles "Pretty Boy" Floyd, but the evidence is debatable and seems to contraindicate Floyd's presence.

Deaths: Kansas City Police: 2; Oklahoma police: 1, FBI: 1; Nash: 1; Gang: 0

Ma Barker

January 16, 1935. Ma Barker and her gang were slain by the FBI during a shootout in the area near Ocala, Florida.

Deaths: Barkers: 2(?); Lawmen: 0(?)

The Palace Chophouse shootout

October 23, 1935. Gangster Dutch Schultz and cronies battle with rival mobsters from Murder, Inc. at Schultz’s headquarters in the Palace Chophouse restaurant in Newark, New Jersey.

Deaths: Schultz gang: 4; Murder, Inc.: 0

Truman assassination attempt

November 1, 1950. Puerto Rican nationalists Oscar Collazo and Griselio Torresola got into a shootout with officers of the Capitol police and Secret Service while attempting to break into the Blair House and assassinate president Harry Truman. By the end of the gun battle, Torresola and officer Leslie Coffelt were killed in an event that firearms instructor Massad Ayoob called "the boldest attempt at home invasion in modern history". [ [;col1 Drama at Blair House: the attempted assassination of Harry Truman] ]

Deaths: Police: 1; Assassins: 1

Austin Tower Sniper

August 1, 1966. Charles Whitman barricaded himself at the top of the tower at the University of Texas at Austin and proceeded to fire randomly from the tower. He was killed in a final shootout when his perch was stormed by Austin police.

Deaths: Killed by Whitman: 13; Whitman: 1

Newhall Massacre

On April 6th, 1970, California Highway Patrol officers engaged heavily armed criminals Bobby Davis and Jack Twining in a shootout in the parking lot of a restaurant near Newhall, California. In a span of five minutes, Davis and Twining killed four CHP officers, making this the deadliest day in the history of California Law enforcement

Davis was later arrested, while Twining killed himself following a long standoff with police.

Deaths: CHP officers: 4; Twining: 1

Marin County Courthouse Shootout

August 7, 1970. In an attempt to free his brother, imprisoned Black Panther leader George Jackson, 17-year old Jonathan Jackson entered a courthouse in Marin County, California with an arsenal of weapons. After storming into a room where a trial was taking place, Jackson armed defendant James McClain, who was on trial for murdering a prison guard, and two fellow convicts who were participating in the trial as witnesses, William Christmas and Ruchell Magee. The four armed men then took the judge, a district attorney, and three jurors hostage and marched them out of the courthouse into a waiting getaway van.

As they attempted to flee the scene, a shootout broke out between the hostage takers and Marin County Sheriffs deputies providing security at the courthouse. By the end of the gun battle, Jackson, McClain, Christmas, and judge Harold Haley were killed. According to the other hostages, Haley was executed by the hostage takers with a shotgun that had been taped to his throat. Magee was severely injured, but survived the battle and was sentenced to life in prison. One Juror and the D.A. were also wounded. One of the weapons used by Jackson was later traced to Black Panther icon Angela Davis, who was later tried (but acquitted) for participation in the crime.

Deaths: Suspects: 3; Hostages: 1

1972 Munich Olympic Massacre

September 6, 1972. Palestinian terrorists took nine Israeli athletes hostage at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, Germany. A shootout with the German police occurred at the airport in Munich when the kidnappers attempted to escape with their hostages.

Deaths: Israelis: 9; Palestinians: 6; Germans: 1

ymbionese Liberation Army

May 17, 1974. A violent shootout in Los Angeles between the SLA and 400 law enforcement officers from Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), FBI, and California Highway Patrol in Los Angeles, California.

Deaths: SLA: 6; Law officers: 0

Pine Ridge Shootout

June 26, 1975. A confrontation and gun battle between American Indian Movement (AIM) activists and the FBI on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.

Deaths: FBI: 2; AIM: 1

Entebbe hostage rescue

July 4, 1976. Israeli forces landed covertly at the Entebbe International Airport near Kampala, Uganda in a daring international hostage-rescue mission. A three-way shootout occurred among the Israelis, the terrorists, and Ugandan armed forces.

Deaths: Ugandan forces: 45; terrorists: 6; hostages: 3; Israeli forces: 1

Golden Dragon Massacre

September 4, 1977. The massacre took place at 2:30 a.m. at the Golden Dragon restaurant in San Francisco, California. A longstanding feud between two rival Chinatown gangs, the Joe Boys and Wah Ching, came to head when a botched assassination attempt by the Joe Boys at the restaurant led to 5 people, including 2 tourists, being killed, and 11 people being injured. The assassination attempt came about after members of Wah Ching vandalized the graves of Joe Boys' members, breaking an unspoken taboo of respecting the dead.

Deaths: Bystanders: 5; gang members: 0


MOVE was a back-to-nature, anti-technology group in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the 1970s and 1980s. They were involved in two shootouts with the Philadelphia police.

August 8, 1978, Powelton Village. During an attempt to forcibly remove the group from the home in which they were living, a shootout took place between the police and the group; one police officer was killed. Nine of the group members were tried and sentenced for murder.

Deaths: Police: 1; MOVE: 0

May 13, 1985, Osage Avenue. In a failed attempt to serve arrest warrants on four members of the group, Philadelphia police became engaged in a gun battle at MOVE’s communal residence. About 10,000 rounds of ammunition were fired by the police. The police dropped a bomb on the house, starting a fire that burned down 62 houses and killed 11 people.

Deaths: MOVE: 11 (6 adults, 5 children); police: 0

Norco Bank Robbery Shootout

May 9, 1980. Prolonged shootout and chase between police in Norco, California and five heavily armed bank robbers wearing military-style fatigues and armed with assault rifles, thousands of rounds of hollow-point bullets as well as various explosive and incendiary devices.Police responded to a bank robbery call in Norco. Upon arriving the police were ambushed and outgunned. After unloading over 300 rounds at police cruisers the officers were forced to retreat behind their cruisers or nearby obstacles all the while being fire at. The suspects attempted to escape in their own vehicle. During this attempt, the driver of the suspects was killed by a stray police shot. The suspects then hijacked a nearby vehicle and became involved in a prolonged chase in which the suspects shot at police and disabled and destroyed 33 police vehicles as well as civilian cars with IED's thrown from the back of a truck. The suspects also disabled a police helicopter by shooting at it. Later the suspects lay in wait for police as they chased them and ambushed them resulting in the death of a police officer and wounding to 2 others. Heavily outgunned the police were pinned down until one officer arrived with an AR-15. After engaging the suspects with the weapon the suspects then fled. One of the suspects was killed in the shootout, one during a later standoff with Police the next day, and three were later captured. 8 officers were also wounded during the events. [ [ Riverside sheriffs association account] ] [ [ Related news article about event] ]

Deaths: Suspects: 2; Police: 1

:Main article: "Norco shootout"

Brinks Armoured Truck Robbery

October 20, 1981. An attempted armed robbery of a Brinks armored truck by members of the Weather Underground and Black Liberation Army resulted in a shootout and the deaths of two police officers and a Brinks security guard in Nyack, New York. The robbers, wearing body armor and equipped with assault rifles, initially ambushed the armored truck when it was parked at a shopping mall, killing Brinks guard Pete Paige and wounding his partner. After taking 1.6 million dollars in cash and attempting to flee in a U-Haul truck, they were stopped at a roadblock set up by police. In a second shootout, police officers Waverly Brown and Ed O'Grady were killed and the robbers fled the scene in several different directions. Four of the robbers were arrested during their escape attempt, and more than six other people involved were arrested in subsequent investigations over the next several years. The last arrest was made in 1986.

Deaths: Suspects: 0; Police: 2; Brinks Guards: 1

Gordon Kahl

February 13, 1983. Tax protester Gordon Kahl traded shots with U.S. Marshals when they attempt to arrest him in Medina, North Dakota.

Deaths: U.S. Marshals: 2; Kahl: 0

June 3, 1983. Gordon Kahl is killed in a shootout with federal agents and the local sheriff in Smithville, Arkansas, in the house where he was hiding out.

Deaths: Kahl: 1; Sheriff: 1

FBI Miami Shootout

April 11, 1986. Two FBI agents and two suspects are killed in a prolonged shootout between the FBI and bank-robbery suspects William Matix and Michael Platt in Miami, Florida.

Deaths: FBI: 2; Suspects: 2

Ruby Ridge

August 1992. In a 10-day siege, agents of the BATF, FBI, and U.S. Marshals shoot it out with Christian Identity believer Randy Weaver and his family in the wilderness near Bonners Ferry, Idaho.

Deaths: Weavers: 2 + 1 dog; Federal agents: 1

Branch Davidian Siege

February 28–April 19, 1993. Members of the Branch Davidian sect exchange gunfire with federal agents of the BATF raiding their compound building, initiating a 51-day siege by the FBI near Waco, Texas.

Deaths: Branch Davidians: 6 (+ 76 on April 19); BATF: 4

North Hollywood Shootout

February 28, 1997. Following a (foiled) bank robbery in North Hollywood, California, two heavily armed and armored bank robbers shot it out with about 375 officers of the Los Angeles Police Department for 45 minutes.

The only deaths were the two bank robbers, Larry Eugene Phillips, Jr. and Emil Dechebal Matasareanu, however 12 police officers and 8 civilians were injured.

Mayerthorpe Incident

on March 3, 2005 James Roszko shot and killed Royal Canadian Mounted Police Constables Peter Schiemann, Anthony Gordon, Lionide Johnston, and Brock Myrol during a drug bust and later killed himself. A further two persons have been changed in connection with the shooting

Deaths RCMP:4 James Roszko:1

Tyler Courthouse shootout

February 24, 2005. David Hernandez Arroyo attacked his ex-wife, Maribel Estrada, and her son outside the courthouse in Tyler, Texas. Arroyo was armed with a semiautomatic MAK-90 (AK-47 clone) rifle. Mrs. Estrada was shot in the head and died; her son was shot in the leg but recovered. The shots immediately brought a response from nearby sheriff’s deputies and Tyler Police. Arroyo began trading gunfire with the officers, who were armed only with pistols, and forced them to retreat, wounding several of them. A passing citizen Mark Allen Wilson, drew his own pistol and attempted to aid the officers. Before the incident ended, both Wilson and Arroyo were killed and several officers were wounded.

Deaths: 3 (Arroyo, Estrada, Wilson)

Toddler dies in shootout

July 10, 2005, Los Angeles, California. José Raul Peña, while high on cocaine, threatened his wife, took his 19-month-old daughter Suzie Marie Lopez (or Susie Marie Peña) hostage, then used the child as a human shield while he exchanged fire with the LAPD SWAT team. Peña (using a 9 mm handgun and a shotgun) fired more than 40 shots at the police and the police fired more than 100 rounds at Peña. [ [ Toddler slain in police shootout had cocaine in system] ] [ [ L.A. Police Kill Gunman, Child in Shootout] ]

Deaths: 2 (Peña, child)

Scott Barnaby

On April 24, 2007, Scott Barnaby of South Bend, Indiana shot at officers outside his motel room. Barnaby and one officer were killed, and another officer was injured. Gun dealer Ronald Wedge was found guilty of selling a gun to Barnaby illegally and was sentenced to ten months in prison. [ [ Man Arrested For Selling Gun To Scott Barnaby] ] [ [ Gun dealer is sentenced to time in prison] ]

Deaths: Barnaby: 1, police: 1


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Look at other dictionaries:

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