Turns out all the movies are right. Young men shouldn’t play with guns. They should talk things out instead of…well you know. One who didn’t know or care was twenty-three year old Ed Dempsey.
Ninety-seven years ago this morning at around 1:00a.m. Ed and some of his street gang brethren started banging away at some Eye-talian fellers. Word on the street was that some of Paul Kelly’s old gang were messing around in Gopher territory.
Anyhoo, a gun battle erupted and after a series of shots were fired a cop came running down 41st and between Eighth and Ninth Avenue he saw a couple of the Kelly boys, Jim Monico and Jim Scaraco, limping along. The officer ran up with his gun out and yelled for the two to halt which they did. “They winged us.” Monico said, grabbing his leg. Scaraco appeared to be more than simply winged as his blood leaked through the bottom of his coat onto the sidewalk.
As the policeman questioned the wounded gangsters bullets began to ricochet around them. Someone was firing directly from above. Crazy Irish. Another cop came running up and ran past the trio on the stoop and headed into the dark building. As he approached the stairs the officer saw a flash from a pistol shot and felt a bullet fly past his ear. He fired in the direction of the flash and heard a thump. Then from further down the second floor hall he heard, “Did they get you Eddie?” Indeed. Eddie was got. Asking about Eddie’s well being was his pal Charlie Smith who was captured moments later and forced to carry his buddy outside.
Eddie was deposited in front of the building along with Monico and Scaraco. The latter were asked if Eddie was the guy who shot them. “Never saw him before.” Was the reply. (The cops knew that would be the answer but had to ask)
Before long the whole neighborhood was out and trying to get a close look at the wounded gunmen. A couple dozen cops were called out to keep the mob at bay and they were forced to form a circle around the gangsters until an “auto-ambulance” arrived on the scene. The drive shined the headlights on the trio of wounded guys so the doctor could administer aid. Once he prepped them for the trip they were loaded up and sent to the hospital where Dempsey checked out a short time later.