Negro Who Shot Policeman Smith Arrested by Officer.
ON THE WAY TO CITY WITH THE PRISONER
Hilton Smith in Critical Condition – Death May Come Any Time.
At 2:30 a telephone message from Blaney’s stated that Rabb had been arrested by Chief Cathcart. The officer and his prisoner will reach the city in the afternoon.
Hilton Smith, city jailer, who was shot by John Rabb, a negro whom he had placed under arrest, last night, is in extremis at the Columbia hospital. His condition is such that very little hope is entertained for his recovery. The intestines are perforated and the spinal column injured. He is paralyzed below the waist both in action and sensation. He is conscious and realizes his serious condition. His wife is in constant attendance at his bedside.
Tuesday night Officer Smith received a report that Rabb, who is a frequent offender against the city ordinances, had engaged in an outbreak of disorder. Mr. Smith went to Rabb’s house and placed the negro under arrest. There was no indication that resistance would be offered, and the officer was taken by complete surprise when the negro suddenly sprang behind him and extricating the pistol from the officer’s holder, fired five times. One bullet took effect, entering the region of the stomach. The prisoner escaped, taking the pistol with him.
The news of the shooting was immediately communicated to headquarters, and the reserve men and detectives began to get busy. The wounded man was removed by some to the Columbia hospital, while others went in pursuit of Rabb. Chief Cathcart issued special orders instructing every officer on duty to scour the city in an effort to apprehend the culprit. Bloodhounds from the state penitentiary were pressed into service.
An operation was preformed on Mr. Smith Tuesday night ant it was seen that the wounds are very serious, in all likelihood fatal.
Rabb is known to all the officers, as he served as trusty at the city stables during one of his terms for wife-beating. He is described as being of brown skin, about 5 feet, 9 inches in height and weighs about 150 pounds.
Has Rabb been caught? was the question asked dozens of time Wednesday morning at police headquarters. At noon roll call the officers were given additional instructions to be on the alert. Patrolmen Sligh, Dreher, Davis and Nettles and Detectives Forde and Richardson were detailed to scour the city in search of Rabb.
Early Wednesday morning word reached the city that a strange negro of very much the description of Rabb was seen at Blaneys, were he was endeavoring to dispose of a pearl-handle Smith & Wesson pistol. This is the style of weapon which Officer Smith carried at the time the shooting occurred. Chief Cathcart left at once for the place, hiring an automobile in which to make the trip. Policemen Thorn, who knows the country thoroughly, and Rogers followed later in a car voluntarily offered for the purpose by Mr. E. A. Jenkins. The officers had not returned at 2 o’clock. Neither had a report been received at headquarters at that hour.
The Wounded Officer.
There is not a more popular member of the police department than Hilton Smith. He is brave, yet kindly. His disposition is genial, and made him many friends. He lies critically stricken – at the door of the Great Beyond – and the brave man that he is -he is unafraid. To a close friends Tuesday night, when came a realization that death might come at any minute, he kissed his wife and told her not to grieve. “I am not afraid,” he said.