Pusser kills Hathcock at Shamrock Motel
by John Smith
On the morning of February 1, 1966, Buford received the two warrants that he had been waiting on. The two warrants were for Louise Hathcock, one for theft and the other for illegal possession of whiskey.
As Buford and his two deputies were on there way to the Shamrock Motel, which was located at the state line, Deputy Peatie Plunk stated he told Buford he knew that he didnít wear his gun on his side very much but he had a feeling that he should put it on while on this trip.
Buford took Plunk's his advice, pulled over in the Eastview area, got out and strapped his gun onto his belt. Then he got back in the car and told Plunk he guessed he would take his advice this time, which ended up being good advice.
When Buford and his deputies, Plunk and Jim Moffett arrived on the scene they were met by a couple from Illinois who had spent the night at the Shamrock. The young man told Buford that when he went inside to pay his bill, the lady behind the counter robbed him of one-hundred-twenty-five dollars. The young man told Buford Hathcock said if he didnít give her all the money in his wallet that she would kill him and his wife and throw their dead bodies in the Hatchie River.
When Buford and his deputies entered the motel, they said the eyes on Louise Hathcock were as big as baseballs. The Sheriff told Hathcock that they had a warrant for her arrest for the robbery of a young man for one-hundred-twenty-five dollars and illegal possession of liquor in a dry county.
Louise Hathcock told Buford that she had not robbed anyone nor did she have any illegal liquor in the place. Buford could tell that Mrs. Hathcock had been drinking a lot, so Buford told Deputy Moffet to watch Louise while he took a look around.
When Buford returned just moments later, he had a whole case of yellowstone whiskey in his arms. Buford sat the whiskey down and told Hathcock that she was under arrest. Mr. Hathcock asked Buford to come in the next room and she would tell him the whole story. Buford asked "Why canít we walk right here?" Hathcock told Buford some of the things were confidential and she would like to tell him in private. Buford agreed to listen to her but told her that she only had a few minutes to tell him whatever it was that she had to say.
As Buford walked behind Louise into the next room, Hathcock turned and pulled a pistol out of the robe she was wearing, and took her first shot at Buford. As Buford jumped back to keep from getting hit, he ended up falling over the bed. Hathcock ran over, pointed her gun at Buford for the second time and attempted to pull the trigger. Buford said the click of the hammer striking the shell sounded like a stick of dynamite exploding in his ears. The gun misfired, leaving Buford time to reach his gun and get a shot off.
The first shot fired from Bufordís .41 caliber struck Hathcock in the left shoulder, spinning her around. The second shot hit Hathcock in the chest area, dropping her to the floor. Buford stated that even after Hathcock had been shot twice, she still tried to pull her gun up to try to get another shot off at Buford. This left the sheriff with no other choice but to fire another shot at Hathcock.
Having heard the shots in the room next door, deputies Moffett and Plunk rushed into the room and asked Buford if he was hurt. Buford said he was fine. He also told Plunk that if he had not had him pull over at Eastview and put his gun on his side that he would not be alive today.
The case of the Hathcock shooting was turned over to the McNairy County grand jury for official action. The jurors ruled that Mrs. Hathcockís killing was justifiable homicide, and the case was closed.
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