“Wrong Man Shot for Will Ptomey”

Source Type: Newspaper
Publisher: The Birmingham News
Place of publication: Birmingham, Alabama
Date of publication: 3/22/1905 0:00

WRONG MAN SHOT FOR WILL PTOMEY E. J. B. ROWELL, WELL KNOWN FARMER, KILLED BY TWO GUARDS HUNTING FOR PROF. HARDY’S ASSAILANT. Special to The Birmingham News. SELMA, Ala., March 22. News reached Selma last night of a horrible tragedy that occurred Monday night near Schuster, in Wilcox county, growing out of the hunt by a posse for the negro, Will Ptomey, who last week shot Professor Claude Hardy near Pineapple and who up to this time has not been apprehended. J. B. Rowell, a well known citizen of Pine Apple, who has been with the posse many times since the shooting of Professor Hardy, located Ptomey late Monday afternoon in a swamp, near Schuster, and notified the citizens of Pine Apple, who immediately formed a posse and surrounded the swamp. Mr. Rowell stated to the crowd that he could not possibly leave home that night, and the posse left him with that understanding. Each man of the posse went to the station assigned them around the swamp, George Kyser and George Brantley being put on guard on the road, over which it was thought likely the negro would attempt to leave the swamp. While the posse was waiting for reinforcements, before closing in on the point where Ptomey was supposed to be in hiding, Mr. Rowell, for some unknown reason, left home and came up the very road which he had indicated the negro was most likely to take, and walked up to the guards Kyser and Brantley, who hailed him. Mr. Rowell evidently thought he had run upon Ptomey and raised his gun to fire, when both guards fired upon him, killing him instantly. The posse was horrified to learn of the mistake.