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The Rubio Incident

Nephew of the President of Mexico Dies

The Daily Ardmoreite
Ardmore, Oklahoma
Monday, June 8, 1931

Bill Guess Fires as Students
Get Out of Motorcar With Guns

Youths, Who Were Members of Prominent
Mexican Families, Mistook Deputy
Sheriffs for Bandits, It Developed
Following Shooting Here

Emilio Cortes Rubio, 20, nephew of the president of Mexico and son of a wealthy Mexico landowner and attorney, and Manuel Gomez, 22, son of a prominent Mexican family, were shot to death early this morning on E street northwest when they are alleged to have resisted an investigation into their activities by Bill Guess, and Cecil Crosby, deputy sheriffs. Bill Guess fired the three shots that killed the two youths.

Salvador Cortes Rubio, 24, a third member of the party, was not injured. He was taken unto custody but later released to Dr. R. C. Conine, Ardmore dentist, who has an extensive acquaintance in Mexico. He is being detained in Ardmore as a material witness. He, too, is a nephew of the president of the Mexican republic and early Monday communicated with his uncle by telephone advising him of the tragedy.

An investigation into the shooting was under way this afternoon, Marvin Shilling, county attorney, had taken the statements of Rubio and was preparing to take the statement of the two officers and of others who were on the scene soon after the shooting.

Guess and Crosby first saw the youths at the root beer stand on Twelfth avenue. Later the two officers drove into the Clayton Cude filling station and saw the Mexicans pass in their car. Between Tenth and Eleventh avenues on E street NW, the car stopped. One of the Mexicans later identified as Salvador Rubio, left the car and moved out in front of the car light. Officers said he was making an “indecent exposure of himself” and they stopped to admonish him.

Crosby got out of the officers car.

“What authority have you to question us?” he said Rubio demanded.Told Them They Were Officers

Both Crosby and Guess said that Rubio was informed that the two inquisitors were deputy sheriffs. Rubio even read the inscriptions on the badge that Crosby wore.

Meantime, the two in the car were murmuring to themselves, Guess relates. Guess got out of his car and taking a flashlight started towards the coupe in which the Mexicans were riding, As he did so, one of the Mexicans, his shoulders draped in a blanket, climbed from the seat. He turned facing the officer.

Guess said he saw the muzzle of an automatic pistol peering from under the folds of the blanket. Guess fired and the youth spun sharply around and the officer, uncertain as to his aim, fired a second time.

Meantime, Crosby says he had to run to the side of the car and was struggling with the other man in the car. The one in front of the car seems to have remained there.

“I saw the scuffling and heard the racket,” he told newspapermen, “but I was not close enough to see what really happened. The officers say that the boys drew guns – probable they did – they had guns.”Fumbled for Gun

Guess flashed his light into the car. The Mexican was fumbling after a gun, he said, and he fired point blank. The shot caused a mortal wound.

The officers found three pistols and a shotgun in the car. In addition, the youths had nearly 300 rounds of ammunition for the new automatic pistols, they possessed as well as other ammunition. One of the guns in the car was a wicked looking double barreled Derringer with pearl handles.

The Ford coupe which the youths had and which Salvador Rubio identified as being the property of Gomez, was a special model with a high compression motor.

“It will make 90 miles an hour,” Rubio said.

“I have talked with my uncle, the president,” said the youth. “He will tell the parents of the boys about it. I did not tell them.”

The boys were college students in route home from Atchison, Kan., and Rolla, Mo. Salvador and Gomez attended St. Benedict’s college at Atchison. The other youth was a sophomore at the Rolla School of Mines.
Dead Youth Grasped Gun

Matt Alexander, city detective, with Otto Holden, patrolman, whom he was giving a lift home, passed by just as the gun play began. He hastened back. He found one of the automatics clasped in the hand of the man with the blanket about his shoulders. The gun was cocked and ready to fire, he said, but due to its newness was difficult to release. He believes that that prevented the youth firing at Guess.

Crowds of curious spectators gathered around the courthouse to see the car and to watch the jail.
Investigation Begins
Officers were busy most of the morning investigating the case. Guess and Crosby did not reach the sheriff’s office until late. Guess said he fired only because he felt that his own life was in danger.” They knew we were officers of the law,” he said. “We were certainly entitled to question them – especially in view of what the youth in front of the car was doing. Numerous cars were passing along the street.” When Cecil first approached the youth, he asked him “what are you doing”. The man asked, “What business is it of yours?” Crosby told him, “I’m a deputy sheriff,” and he showed him the badge. The fellow reached over and pulled the badge out where the car light would shine on it and read it.” Then he said, “We are college boys on our way from Atchison to Mexico City.” It was then that the trouble commenced in the car and I got out of my car to join Cecil.” The bodies of the two dead youths are at the Harvey Brothers undertaking establishment. No word has been received as yet as to the disposition to be made of them.
Father McCreedy Knew Boys
Father F.D. McCreedy, of St. Mary’s church, said he knew the three boys personally and that they never had been in any difficulty that he know of. He called the sheriff’s office in an effort to see Salvador Rubio but was informed that he had been taken in charge by Dr. Conine.

 The Daily Ardmoreite
Ardmore, Oklahoma
Monday, June 8, 1931

Boys Attend Kansas College

Were Students at St. Benedict’s College at
Atchison, Kan., and Had Fine
Reputation at School
Surviving Youth Says Companions
Mistook Ardmore Officers for Bandits

ATCHISON, Kan., June 8. – AP – Emilio Cortes Rubio, 20, cousin of President Ortiz Rubio of Mexico, who with another Mexican student, Manuel Gomez, 22, was killed in Ardmore, Okla., early today, left Atchison yesterday to drive to Mexico City. Fernando Ortiz Rubio and Guillermo Ortiz Rubio, sons of the president, who was companion of the two boys slain, telephoned authorities of St. Benedict’s college here that they had mistaken the Oklahoma officers for bandits. The president’s sons attended St. Benedict’s college here with Salvador Cortes Rubio and Manuel Gomez. Emilio Cortes Rubio was a former student and had been attending the Rolla (Mo.) School of Mines the last two years.
Left After Attending Mass

After attending 5 o’clock mass at a church here, the group set out for home yesterday after completing the year’s school work. Father Richard Burns, dean of residence at St. Benedict’s college, said Salvador, in informing him of the shooting by telephone early today, declared their car had been followed closely by another during the night. He said he and his companions had become apprehensive and had decided to drive as far south as possible before stopping to rest. Father Burns said Salvador told him he left the car a few moments after they reached Ardmore, and in his absence heard shooting. The youth said upon his return he found his companions had been slain and officers who apparently had fired upon them were standing nearby.
Were of High Standing
The school official said both the Rubios and Gomez were youths of excellent character and high standing at St. Benedicts. College authorities said the youths were carrying a large sum of money and took arms with them for protection as well as to have the weapons for hunting at home .Emilio Cortes Rubio was the son of a Mexico City attorney associated in business with the father of Salvador Cortes Rubio. Manuel Gomez was the son of a large landholder in the southern republic who died several years ago. Salvador was the first of the distinguished Mexican family to enter St. Benedict’s college. He matriculated in preparatory school eight years ago and was graduated from a chemical engineering course a few days ago. A few year later he was joined here by his cousin, Emilio, who withdrew two years ago to attend the Missouri School of Mines in Rolla.
President’s Son Enters College
Guillermo and Fernando Ortiz Rubio, sons of the president of Mexico, arrived at St. Benedict’s last fall a month after school opened. They became residents of the rooming house where their cousin Salvador lived. Salvador, known at the school as “Mike” immediately became their mentor in ways of American college life and attended numerous entertainments here, in Kansas City, and elsewhere in honor of his distinguished cousins. He remarked that their appearance at school had transformed him into their “social secretary. “Despite the press of study in a foreign language and numerous entertainments, Fernando found time to take up boxing and made several public appearances in the ring against schoolmates and opponents from other schools. Some months ago authorities here investigated the possibility that Fred H. Burke, notorious gunman captured near Milan, Mo., was plotting to kidnap the sons of the president of Mexico. A man identified from photographs as Burke, spent several hours in Atchison last January and made minute inquiries about the two youths, their routine, and habits of life.” We are greatly shocked at the tragic news which we received early this morning form Salvador Cortes Rubio,” Father Burns said. “They were perfect gentlemen, good students and splendid fellows. We have never had students of whom we thought more.” Father Burns was considering the possibility of going by airplane to Ardmore. Gomez, who was 22 years of age, had completed his sophomore year in the engineering department.
Rubio Receives Message
MEXICO CITY, June 9. – AP – President Ortiz Rubio today had a message today from President Hoover expressing regret over the killing of Emilio Cortes Rubio, a relative of the president, and Manuel Gomez, at Ardmore, Okla., yesterday. Ambassador Reuben J. Clark delivered the note to Senor Ortiz Rubio with a statement of his own regret and that of the state department. For more info and the story of this shooting put to song by the Singing Professor of New Mexico…  CLICK HERE