February 2, 1918
His limbs shattered and broken by flying brick and mortar, wounded several times by the pistols of a dozen or more officers unable to rise to his knees because of injuries, Felipe Alvarez was shot to death in the door of the outhouse in which he had taken refuge at 2:45 o'clock this morning. Besides the shattering brick building, the doors of which were locked and one side of which was torn down by the fourth charge of dynamite hurled at the structure, his body lay riddled with bullets from a final fusillade fired by officers from every direction, when he crawled from the ruined building, his piston in his hand.
He was shooting until a final ball penetrated his head, and he fell groaning to the ground.
Three charges of dynamite placed under the building earlier in the morning had failed to bring the murderer outside. On the first two charges he had remained in his hiding place. When the third, and heaviest charge was directed against the small outhouse, he failed again to appear.
Officers and provost guardsmen approached the building. Alvarez suddenly appeared in the door and fired four times. A civilian armed with a shotgun stood almost in front of the door. the ball passed by his head and before he or his companions could return the Mexican's fire, Alvarez had again disappeared inside the building.
Officers on the roof east of the outhouse signaled the men below to withdraw, and arranged the fourth charge of explosive. This they hurled directly on the roof of the building. It burst with such shock that buildings in the neighborhood shook and several windows were shattered. The north wall of the outhouse tottered outward, and Alvarez came crawling into the areaway.
Juan M. Garcia a Victim
Beside the shattered outhouse, on the west side and in front of the door was the body of Juan M. Garcia, an employe of the city tax collector's office. He had followed Alvarez to the door of the building when the earliest engagement occurred before midnight, shooting as he went. His body was covered with brick dust and mortar, but was not mangled by the shock of the explosion. Officers who had been near him when he fell, but who did not know his identity until after Alvarez had been killed, had seen him fall.
"The blankety-blank got me right through the guts," Garcia called as he dropped to the ground. The bullet had penetrated his abdomen, and death had followed soon. Papers on his body served to identify him.
Alvarez, who had murdered two small children and wounded their mother earlier in the evening, remained barricaded in the outhouse from 11:30 o'clock, when he was trapped by officers, until the final charge of explosive had been thrown. From time to time during the first hour and one-half he would appear at one of the small air vents or at the door, shooting if an officer was in view. For the final hour and one-half, however, he remained absolutely quiet.
Cruel Murder to Two Children
At 11:30 last night Alvarez invaded the home of Mrs. Trinidad Lucero, 615 Texas street, and shot the woman thought the head as she was standing with her young son, Alfredo Cantan, aged two, in her arms. The child was instantly killed, two bullets from the murderer's pistol passing through his little head. A second child, Salvador Cantans, aged three, was likewise shot down and killed as he clung to his mother' skirts.
Mrs. Lucero's daughter Martha, aged 16, telephoned to the police. The mother, badly wounded, was able to tell the officers the name and address of the murderer, and officers were hurriedly dispatched to South El Paso. The woman was removed to the emergency hospital, where she was attended by Dr. Lynch. At an early hour this morning the doctor held out hope of her recovery.
Police Captain S. H. Vester and officers were called to the woman's home following the murder. Here they discovered from the woman where Alvarez lived. They returned to the police station, and officers Charles Wood, Ed Loper and L. G. Robey were sent to the A B C Alley to locate the Mexican.
Wood and Robey went to the front door of Alvarez' home. Loper went to the rear, and was standing almost at the door when Alvarez rushed from the building. Loper pulled his gun to shoot. Alvarez had his pistol in his hand. Loper's gun snapped as the hammer fell on an empty chamber or poor cartridge. Alvarez pulled his trigger once, and the gun snapped. He backed off, fired again, and the ball pierced Loepr's coat, penetrated his trouser and brazed hardship. Loper took cover in a doorway. Wood and Robey ran through the building and joined Loper.
From their cover the three officers engaged the Mexican, who in the meantime had safely reached the protection of the small brick structure. Robey and Wood each fired three rounds of cartridges. Loper fired two rounds before his supply gave out. Garcia came to their assistance and started single-handed to take Alvarez from the building. He was shot at the entrance, as he attempted to swing around the door an take the Mexican by surprise.
Meantime J.E. Upton heard the shooting, and summoned aid. A large force of police reserves and provost guardsmen rushed in automobiles to the scene. Drivers for one of the rent stands placed their cars at the disposal of the police to rush reserves to the scene. In fifteen minutes the entire block had been surrounded by a cordon of officers, members of the sheriff's force, soldiers, provost officers, civilians. All were armed. Rifles, shotguns and pistols barred Alvarez's escape from the small outhouse.
From the Santa Fe street side of the block Andy Shobe, J.E. Upton, Bill Stewart, and O. Perea, all officers, climbed to the roofs of adobe buildings overlooking the areaway in which the outhouse was located. They crawled to the edge of the roof. Their head and shoulders showed, and they peered into to court in an effort to locate Alvarez. Perea took from his pocket a flashlight. He held it in his left hand, and in his right had he held his pistol. He leaned forward and flashed it's light on the outhouse.
Perea Drops Dead
Alvarez' small caliber pistol barked on time with a sharp report. Perea did not speak. His pistol and flashlight fell to the ground below. His head dropped over the edge of the roof. The ball had penetrated his head, entering at the left temple and coming out at the rear. Death was instantaneous.
Meantime automobiles had been procured. Four alleyways led into the areaway where Alvarez had sought safety. One automobile was placed in each o f these alleyways, and shoved forward until the light shone on the outhouse.
The light from the automobile was turned down the alleyways, but it was impossible to locate the Mexican with them. Guards were stationed at every possible point of vantage, residents of the entire block were ordered from their homes, the doors of each building were guarded, and Captain S.H. Vester sent for dynamite with which to dive out the refugee.
Alvarez lived with his wife and four small children in of the small adobes facing A B C alley. When his body was viewed by Coroner James M. Deaver he was found to have two cartridge belts strapped about his waist. Each was almost filled with cartridges. Coroner Deaver viewed also the bodies of Garcia, Perea, and the two small children.
Young Girl's Story
According to Mrs. Lucero's daughter Martha, a 16-year-old girl employed at the Elite, the family had known Alvarez for about nine years. Early last night he visited the Lucero home, apparently under the influence of liquor. He was speedily sent away, and the family was preparing to retire for the night, when the man, pistol in hand, burst into the room. He immediately opened fire, shooting little Alfredo in his mother's arms and Salvador while the latter was clinging to the other's skirts. Both of the children were shot twice.
Policeman Perea, the third victim of the murderer's bullet, was a resident of Stormville on the mesa. His body was taken to McBean, Simmons & Hartford's morgue.