Moonshiners and Deputies Have Gunfight

Moonshiners and Deputies Have Gunfight



What is said to be one of the most exciting gun battles between officers and
outlaws took place on the streets of Lineville Alabama on Wednesday, October 17th, 1928, when officers of Cleburne County Sheriff’s Office and officers from Clay County Sheriff’s Office apprehended Sebe and Joe Echols of Cleburne when they were discoverd in Lineville and attempted to arrest them.

It seems that Sebe was apprehended by the officers and after being placed
under arrest, made a dash for liberty, whereupon the officers gave chase,
firing twice but not hitting the fleeing man. Joe Echols, a brother, some
distance away, fired four or five shots at the officers as they persued Sebe
then made a get away but was later located at the home of Howell Turner, some five miles east of Lineville. Sebe was recaptured in the home of Dr. J.S. Ray by John W. Kilgore, a Cleburne County officer, where he happened to run while trying to make his escape.

Sheriff Allen and Deputies Cook and George Thrower of Cleburne and Pope of
Talladega, were at the scene of the home where Joe was shot and captured following a pistol battle lasting several minutes. It is alleged
that Joe is wanted in Cleburne county for the murder of John Watts some three years ago. He has been scouting ever since, it is stated.

No one was hit in the melee in town but the bullet sign on the wall of Dr. Gay’s office shows that lead was spattered promisciously at the officers, one shot going into the front room of Dr. Gay’s home.


It is said that the Echols boys were living a bandit life in the mountain of Cleburne and Clay counties along with several other scouting criminals, their only source of living was in making moonshine liquor. Joe is said to have
acknowleged shooting someone at a party more than a year ago while under an assumed name.

The condition of Joe is reported as very serious since the spine was hit and
that he may not live very long. 

Thrower and Kilgore on their way to Ashland court, noticed Echols car parked
in Lineville. Returning with Clay county officers, Sebe was located, his arrest soon followed as stated in the Lineville paper. However the officers did not know of Joe’s presence until he appeared on the scene “working” two pistols at Kilgore who was chasing Sebe and other officers who appeared in sight.


Sebe was brought to the jail here where he later furnished the required bond and was allowed his freedom, while Joe was transferred to an Ashland hospital and is said to be seriously wounded, having been shot as he ran from the home in an attempt to escape, the ball entering under the left shoulder blade, loding near the surface on the opposite side. Sebe was wanted by Cleburne officers on two or three charges.

NEWSPAPER ABSTRACTS FROM “THE CLEBURNE NEWS“, Heflin, Cleburne County, Alabama for OCTOBER 1928 issue of Thursday, October 18, 1928