Eighty-seven 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 auto with their guns out and began firing at the cars that just pulled up. From inside a
nearby chicken coop a Thompson went off. Longo dropped by the car fatally wounded as
Russo and Griffin ran for cover. The former caught an extra crispy dose of lead
while heading for a tree and dropped dead. The latter caught six bullets but
managed to make it to a nearby house.
A witness to the shootout described the machine gunner to a police sketch artist: