Dr. Louis H. Gilman shot and killed San Diego County Deputy Sheriff Thomas A. Fay, 29, and threatened the lives of several others on May 17, 1919. The shooting occurred when Fay attempted to arrest Gilman on a charge of disturbing the peace, after the doctor had quarreled with R.E. Miller, who had shot at one of Gilman’s rabbits which had made his way into his garden patch. Gilman said Miller shot at him.
It is reported that Gilman told Deputy Fay that Miller was the one who should be arrested.
Fay told Gilman, “Get your coat and come along.”
The dentist went inside his home while Miller returned to his residence. The doctor then returned, and as he pushed open the screen door, he shot Fay. Two shots were shot, one hitting the officer in the pit of his stomach and the other piercing his right lung.
Gilman then crossed the street toward the Miller residence. As he entered the gate he opened fire on the Millers who were standing in the doorway, and Mrs. J.A. Parks, wife of Dr. J.A. Parks, who was in the front yard.
The shot fired at Mrs. Miller struck the door. She ran into the house. Mrs. Parks dashed toward the house, shouting for help, Gilman followed. He overtook the woman near the back of the house and knocked her down. He then beat her, smashing out one tooth and inflicting a severe cut over her right eye. Gilman then put the gun against her breast, but Mrs. Parks successful knocked his hand away.
Miller was upstairs in his home and hearing the shots ran to the window. Just below him he saw someone struggling with Gilman. He jumped from the second story, landing on Gilman, knocking him down. After a struggle Miller forced the dentist to his back, and Mrs. Miller, who had come out of the house, took the gun from Gilman.
Mrs. Gilman ran up just as Miller gained supremacy and begged him not to shoot her husband. Deputy sheriffs McCarty and Goset came then and arrested both Gilman and his wife.
Dr. and Mrs. Gilman were taken to the county jail by the deputies where a murder charge was placed against Gilman. The body of Fay was taken to the Bradley & Wooman Morgue.
Fay, a native of Missouri, was survived by his wife, Gertrude; sons, Albert and George; mother, Mrs. Emma Fay; two brothers and a sister.