A shooting scrape occurred on the Henry Williams ranch at Sweetwater, which resulted in the wounding of William McLaughlin and the killing of “Shorty” Cosgrove. Shorty, who had been working on the Williams ranch for some time, went on a spree over several days previous to the trouble and had several rows with the men who were working on the place.
These actions were not held in very high regard by Mr. Williams and he notified Cosgrove that he must either sober up and go to work or leave the premises. Cosgrove threatened Williams and McLaughlin stepped in to stop the trouble. Cosgrove invited McLaughlin out with the remark that he was just the man he was in want of. McLaughlin responded by going to the front door when Cosgrove opened fire on him. The first shot went through his hand and the second struck him in the left breast, to the right of the nipple, ranging around the rib and exiting his back.
Cosgrove then ran around to the old post office and hid. Deputy Sheriff Edward Moran was sent for, and in the meantime Cosgrove left his hiding place and went to the stable and took one of William’s horses and headed for the California line. When Moran arrived, he started after Cosgrove in hot pursuit. When passing a thicket just above William’s ranch, he saw his man on the opposite side at about 200 yards distant.
He called for him to halt but Cosgrove kicked his horse into a run. Moran fired twice without effect, After an exciting race of some distance, Moran succeeded in getting within about 40 yards of his man and called for him to stop or he would shoot him; Cosgrove answered “shoot and be damned, I won’t stop until I am across the line”. Moran fired twice, hitting him once in the neck and once in the back, killing him instantly. McLaughlin was not hurt badly from his wounds and was expected to fully recover.