American Handgunner May/June 2013 Digital Edition - Page 20

THE AYOOBFILES massaD ayooB The Armed CiTizens of newhAll Situation: Four Highway Patrolmen lie dead or dying, the cop-killers are still up and running … and you are there to face them. leSSon: Having your own gun is generally better than having to use someone else’s … and courage, determination, and skill will be more important than what kind of gun you have. Many years ago, in an early segment of this continuing series, we touched on the April 5, 1970 gunfight in Newhall, Calif. that took the lives of four young California Highway Patrolmen. We touched on it again here more recently to highlight new information uncovered by Mike Wood for his new book on the incident. One of the most famous gunfights of the 20th century, this shooting basically kick-started the officer survival training movement as we know it today. However, almost 43 years later, some of our readers were surprised to learn that before the terrible night was over, two armed citizens would exchange shots with the cop-killers. They wrote in to ask for more details on that side of it. At the scene: Gary Kness When Gary Dean Kness drove past the complex of J’s Restaurant and the Standard gas station on his way to work, he “came in at the middle of the picture.” In fact, as he saw the gunfire lance between the tan-uniformed cops and the men at the red car stopped in front of their black and white patrol units, Kness thought at first that someone was filming a movie or a TV show. But then, he saw one of the patrolmen slump onto the trunk of a patrol car, and slide to the ground, and the reality of it became starkly apparent. At that moment, Gary Kness could not have known what had happened immediately prior. A few minutes before midnight, CHP officers Roger Gore and Walter Frago had pulled into the complex behind a red ‘64 Pontiac fitting the description of a car in which a lone driver had brandished a snubnosed revolver at a couple in a Volkswagen a short time earlier. Frago, riding shotgun, had unlimbered the issue Remington 870 from its dashboard rack and taken a position at the right front of the black and white, while Gore had emerged from the driver’s seat and drawn his privately owned, department approved 6" Colt Python and, from cover behind the fender, ordered what they now saw to be two suspects out of the car. The suspects did not move. When the repeated commands proved fruitless, Gore approached their vehicle, and Frago followed. Bobby Davis, 27, emerged from behind the steering wheel, now apparently compliant. Frago, his shotgun muzzle up with the butt on his hip, approached the passenger door. But Jack Twining, 35, spun in the right front seat and came up with a 4" Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum revolver — ironically, the Highway Patrolman model — and rapidly shot Frago twice in the chest, instantly and fatally dropping the young officer. On the other side of the Pontiac, Gore — who had been the top shot in his academy class — reacted instantly, firing at Twining but missing. Twining in turn pumped two .357 rounds at Gore, both of which hit the Pontiac instead of the policeman. But Gore’s attention had been diverted from Davis, who surreptitiously drew the revolver he had brandished at the other motorists earlier and shot Gore twice in the chest. The .38 slugs, fired from a Smith & Wesson Bodyguard, are believed to have killed Gore instantly. As this was happening, the first CHP backup unit pulled into the scene, Officer James Pence driving and Officer George Alleyn on the shotgun side. After a quick radio call for assistance, they exited the vehicle, Pence with another 6" Python and Alleyn with the patrol car 870. In the blazing gun battle that followed, the perpetrators emptied both of their revolvers. Twining seized one of two 1911 .45s in the back seat of the Pontiac and got off one shot before it jammed. He dumped it back in the car and grabbed the other .45, while Davis grabbed a sawed-off 12-gauge Western Field (re-branded Mossberg produced for the Montgomery Ward chain) pump shotgun. Continued on page 68 WWW.AMERICANHANDGUNNER.COM • MAY/JUNE2013 20

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