Chris Luick Shoots Wife and Mortally Wounds Himself
Chris Luick, a well known farmer residing ten miles southwest of town, shot his wife in the shoulder and later shot himself through the bowels Saturday, from the effects of which he died twenty-four hours later. The woman's wounds are not serious and she will recover.
A representative of the NEWS visited the Luick home Sunday and from the eldest son, Paul, secured an accurate account of the tragedy.
Luick has been a heavy drinker for years, and when under the influence of liquor seemed to be a fiend incarnate. He made threats against his wife and members of the family times without number and had gone so far as to attempt to carry out his threats.
Just before noon Saturday, and while his wife was preparing the midday meal for the threshing crew that was waiting in the barn near by, Luick appeared in the kitchen door of the little home, and as his wife, who was in the east end of the narrow room, turned from her position at the kitchen table to see what he wanted, the crazed man fired at her with a 32 calibre revolver from a distance of not over twelve feet. The bullet entered her right shoulder, and as she rushed past him to the outside Luick walked through the door by which he entered, passed through the dining room and into a small store room where he seated himself on a pile of sacks.
When the son Paul and two members of the threshing crew rushed into the house they located Luick who was evidently trying to shoot himself as he was seated, his back to the door, which was open a few inches. As they started to enter the room Luick heard them and quickly turned and fired point blank at the trio, the ball lodging in the door jam a scarce three inches from Paul's head. The men retired quickly from danger and Luick passed out doors through a door from the store room to the east side of the house. Here again the crew attempted to close on him but he held them at bay with his gun, firing two shots, one of which passed through the hat of a member of the crew. The crazed man then ran down to the section road which passes through the west end of a long slough a few rods from the house. Standing on the edge of the grade, which has a deep ditch of water on either side, Luick fired the last remaining charge in the weapon into his bowels. He fell backward onto the road and was later taken up and was removed to the hospital at Lidgerwood, whither the wounded wife had already been taken.
An examination of the woman's injuries revealed a painful flesh wound, but at no time was her condition dangerous. The ball passed through the shoulder from the front and lodged in the flesh at the back.
Luick's first inquiry when he reached Lidgerwood was as to his wife's condition, and he expressed regret when told she would recover. He was shot through the intestines, which were pierced in seven places, and from the first it was seen his case was hopeless. He died Sunday afternoon at 1 pm, almost exactly twenty-four hours from the time of the shooting.
Luick was a well-to-do farmer, owning a 480 acre farm where he lived (about a mile southwest of the pond known as Gully's slough on Schuett's lake) and three quarters farther west a few miles. He was somewhat past the fifty mark in years while the wife is in the forties. They were among the early settlers and have a family of ten children, six of whom live at home, the youngest a girl of nine years.
Luick's abuse of his wife and family has been notorious for years and neighbors expressed little surprise when they heard of the tragedy, in fact many had predicted something of the kind. He was insanely jealous of his wife when drunk, though there was no foundation for his jealousy. He had been under the influence of liquor for a month or more before the shooting and a short time ago attempted to destroy the home by sprinkling gasoline over the house but was overpowered before he could apply a match. He generally carried a gun during his sprees and last spring fired three shots at his son Paul, a lad of twenty, and has frequently endangered the lives of his household.
Hankinson News, 9/27/1906