Looking Back: Feb. 7, 1936 shooting in Paso Robles results in two deaths
Editorial summary from Saturday, February 8, 1936, Extra Edition of the Paso Robles Times
“A drunken row, which ended in death for Jesse Sledge, 45, of this city, and serious injuries to two others, came to a climax about 6:30 last night at the home of Freitas Gerst, on Chestnut street, near 16th. “
Sledge died from his wounds at Atascadero Hospital. Gerst, 48 and Earl Pickering, were wounded but survived. The shooting was witnessed by Betty June Sledge, the 10-year-old daughter of Jesse Sledge.
Witness accounts allege that Ralph Hagerman, 32, began shooting after an argument broke out and Sledge was fatally shot while attempting to wrestle the gun away from Hagerman. Hagerman’s account is that Sledge had stolen Hagerman’s pistol and shot Gerst and Pickering then himself.
Saturday morning, Feb 8, Hagerman, arrested for the fatal shooting of Sledge, leaped to his death from the second story window of the San Luis Obispo County Courthouse, where he was awaiting questioning by District Attorney M.R. Van Wormer.
Read previous Looking Back articles
- Looking Back: Paso Roblans Abroad
- Looking Back: P.R. Schools Ask Tax Hike
- Looking Back: Wireless technology arrives in Paso Robles in 1910
- Looking Back: City Will Put in Bid for Air Base
- Looking Back: January 1914 storm wipes out local bridges, creates ‘a sorry wreck’
This “Looking Back” view at Paso Robles history comes from one of the hundreds of local newspapers in the Paso Robles Area Historical Society collection. Several local newspapers, dating from the 1800s, have reported on local, national and world events, providing priceless historical views of our community that are not available from any other source. The Historical Society is seeking community support for the multi-phased Newspaper Preservation Project to help fund the transfer of these aged and fragile pages to microfilm and digital images. See the society website for more information about becoming a member or donating to any phase of this project.
The Paso Robles Daily News is pleased to support this important project. Watch this space for future “Looking Back” articles.