Eighty-Six years ago this afternoon three St. Louis gangsters were keeping a rendezvous in what was called a "chicken yard" on the outskirts of the city in Wellston. The trio, James Russo, Mike Longo and Jack Griffin pulled into the yard at 2:00pm and waited. After a moment two cars pulled up and blocked the only way out.
The threesome seemed to realize they were on the spot and jumped from their car with their guns out and began firing at the cars. From inside a nearby chicken coop a Thompson went off. Longo dropped by the car dead. Russo and Griffin ran for cover. Russo caught a fatal dose of lead while heading for a tree and fell. Griffin caught six bullets but managed to make it to a nearby house.
A witness described the machine gunner to a police artist: