Shootout with the Barrow Gang in Joplin, aka Bonnie and Clyde, two local officers killed in the line of duty 88 years ago

Joplin News First

JOPLIN, Mo. — April 13, 1933, 88 years ago today the notorious Barrow Gang (including Bonnie and Clyde) killed two local officers in a shootout. It occurred at a garage apartment in Newton County, now E. 34th Street in Joplin. These two accounts are from the agencies that each officer served under. John “Wes” Harryman was a Constable for the Shoal Creek Township which is now the Newton County Sheriff’s Office. Detective Harry McGinnis was with the Joplin Police Department.

For a short time the garage apartment was rentable as an AIRB&B however is has since been removed back to a private residence. We have an exclusive look inside where the Barrow Gang lived for a time in 1933.

From the Newton County Sheriff’s Office HONOR ROLL — “Shoal Creek Township: Constable John “Wes” Harryman was killed in a gun battle with the notorious outlaw gang led by Bonnie and Clyde. Constable Harryman and several other area officers had gone to their hideout at 3347 1/2 Oak Ridge Drive, in southern Joplin, to investigate what they thought were bootleggers. Neighbors had become suspicious of late hour activity of the house and reported it to the Highway Patrol. Troopers investigated and discovered that the registration on the vehicle didn’t match that of the renters of the property. They reported the matter to Joplin Police who obtained a search warrant. Constable Harryman, Troopers Kahler and Grammer, and Joplin Detectives DeGraff & McGinnis, went to the house at 4:00 pm. As they arrived Clyde Barrow, of the Bonnie and Clyde Gang, was at the garage door. The officers drove one car into the driveway to stop Barrow from closing the door. Constable Harryman jumped out of the car and was struck with a shotgun blast. Detective McGinnis exited the back seat of the opposite side of the car and was struck by another shotgun blast coming from the garage but was able to return fire. Automatic rifle fire erupted from the apartment windows striking McGinnis, nearly severing his right arm. The troopers and Detective DeGraff continued the gun battle but Trooper Kahler ran out of ammunition and Detective DeGraff sent Grammer for help. The gang then drove off continuing fire at Detective DeGraff. Constable Harryman died en route to the hospital. Constable Harryman, also a farmer, was elected Shoal Creek Township Constable of Newton County in November 1932. He was survived by his wife, Atha.”

“Harry McGinnis was shot and killed April 13, 1933 while responding to a call with several local agencies. There were reports of possible bootleggers at a residence on South Oak Ridge Drive. They turned out to be the infamous Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker. 

The Bonnie and Clyde Gang was responsible for the murder of law enforcement officers in four states – Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas – between 1932 and 1934. Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow started their criminal career by robbing banks and quickly became notorious murderers wanted for the murders of nine law enforcement officers.

The two criminals were finally shot and killed in Louisiana when they were ambushed by a task force of Texas and Louisiana officers.

Detective McGinnis was predeceased by his wife and is buried in Deepwood Cemetery, Nevada, Vernon County, Missouri.”

JOPLIN POLICE DEPARTMENT
LIVE! INSIDE THE BONNIE AND CLYDE HIDEOUT; LOCAL OFFICERS KILLED BY NOTORIOUS BARROW GANG, APRIL 13, 1933 >> BIT.ly/2Q01m1O

LIVE! INSIDE THE BONNIE AND CLYDE HIDEOUT; LOCAL OFFICERS KILLED BY NOTORIOUS BARROW GANG, APRIL 13, 1933 >> BIT.ly/2Q01m1O • 88 years ago today Newton County Sheriff’s Office, John “Wes” Harryman and Joplin Police Department, Detective Harry McGinnis.

Posted by Joplin News First on Tuesday, April 13, 2021

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