fire storms

Charlie Storms

Charlie Storms (18??-1881) was a professional gunfighter and gambler of the Old West, who is best known, unfortunately, for having been killed during a gunfight with noted gunman Luke Short, in Tombstone, Arizona.

Storms had a reputation as being a good gunman during the 1870s, and traveled to many towns throughout the Old West as a gambler. When Bill Hickock was murdered by Jack McCall in Deadwood, South Dakota, Storms was alleged to have been present. Some alleged that he took one of Hickock's pistols as it lay on the floor, as a souvenir. That has never been confirmed beyond a doubt, but there are indications that he was there.

He drifted for some time, travelling through Dodge City, Kansas and El Paso, Texas, during which time he was known to have been involved in at least three shooting incidents, though with no notable gunmen. The outcome and details of those gunfights are not known, and mostly were just rumor. However, in 1881, he arrived in Tombstone. He made himself known in several gambling houses and saloons around town. On February 25, he was playing faro in the Oriental Saloon. The dealer was gunman and gambler Luke Short. Storms had been drinking all night, and began to make rude remarks to Short. As tensions rose, gunman Bat Masterson entered. Masterson knew both Short and Storms well, and was able to defuse the argument.

Storms left the saloon, and returned to his rented room. Later on, as Masterson and Short left the Oriental Saloon, Storms reappeared, and jerked Short by the arm off the boardwalk and into the street. Storms then went for his gun, but Short beat him to the draw and shot him once in the chest, the muzzle of his gun being so close to Storms that it caught his shirt on fire. Storms was killed with the one shot. Short then is reported to have turned to Bat Masterson and stated, "You sure pick some of the damnedest friends, Bat".

Short was arrested for the shooting. He was given a hearing, and the shooting was ruled self defense.

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