The Death of Billy the Kid
On July 14, 1881, less than three months after Billy the Kid (William H. Bonney) escaped from the Lincoln County Courthouse in New Mexico Territory, he was shot and killed by Sheriff Pat Garrett. The Kid had fled to Fort Sumner and on a tip, Garrett set out toward Fort Sumner to find him, with lawmen John Poe and Thomas C. ‘Kip’ McKinney. According to some, Pete Maxwell had alerted Poe to the Kid’s whereabouts. Many details about Billy the Kid’s death are controversial but, apparently, as he was returning to Maxwell’s house he came upon Poe and McKinney outside, unsure of whether they were friends or foes. Garrett was awaiting inside, and as the Kid entered the room, Garrett shot him above the heart.
Painting: Don Prechtel