Special agent John Washington looked at the four men standing across him. “We are going to get Devious Dan this time,” The FBI man growled. “Dead or alive.”

The men nodded and jumped on to their vehicle and drove off amid the thunderous rain. The tip had come from an old man who had seen a man holed up in a shack at the Great Canyon. He had identified him as Devious Dan from the FBI’s most wanted posters he had been shown.

All four men sat in silence as Washington drove the car through the heavy rain. Devious Dan had robbed 10 banks and killed almost half a dozen security guards in his five-month crime spree.

Joe Morris dug around in his pockets, his hand brushing his .32 revolver. He found his pack of cigarettes and offered it to Chester Harrison, who was sitting next to him.

Chester shook his head. “Don’t smoke.” Joe remarked that these young men are all into clean living, and then thrust the pack back into his pocket.

Then, George Franklin asked him, “How long have you been into law enforcement”?

Joe snorted, “I am retiring at the end of the year. My wife and I brought a nice old cottage in the countryside. We are set for an easy life.”

Matt Jameson, shoving his .32, commented, “Not bad, old guy. As for me, I got some things to take care of before I turn in my badge. I have a few debts to take care of, but who doesn’t these days.”

George grunted, “I have 4 kids to raise with my meager salary,” he said, balancing a Thompson sub-machine gun.

Young Chester was in his first man hunt and was visibly nervous keeping his shotgun close to him.

An hour later, they had reached the place. Washington commanded George to go around and cover the back in case Dan tried to jump out of the window. John then cocked his .45 automatic revolver at the door of a shack.

“Put your hands up, Dan. It’s the end!” he roared. At first Dan couldn’t believe his eyes.

Then, in the fire, the lantern hanging overhead shattered on the floor. Darkness engulfed the shack. Heavy gunfire erupted. Chester lit the lantern that he had been told to bring illuminating the shack. The silence was now deafening. The men looked at the bullet-ridden body of Devious Dan and at the crisp green money of the banks lying on the floor.

Joe had a slug in the gut, Washington got one on the shoulder. George had been hit in his left ear. He was still outside the shack in the back, but his gun lay inside, while Matt Jameson said he got hit on the thigh.

The Chief remarked, “You can now come in, Chester.” The young man was standing outside the shack, clearly frightened by the ensuing carnage.

John Washington then remarked, “We got a lot of men shot at considering that Devious Dan never fired a single shot!”

Clearly, someone else was after the bank loot beside Devious Dan.
Can you find out who it was?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Is knowledge of the particulars for each of those weapons required to discern what happened? $\endgroup$ – Engineer Toast Aug 10 '16 at 15:11
  • $\begingroup$ @EngineerToast Yes, not much, just some general knowledge about the guns.. $\endgroup$ – Sid Aug 10 '16 at 15:19
  • $\begingroup$ I'm not sure about "too broad" but I do wonder whether there is actually enough information in the question to yield an unambiguous answer. We'll see... $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Aug 10 '16 at 16:25
  • $\begingroup$ Incidentally, the story doesn't seem to make a great deal of sense -- whoever our perpetrator is, (1) he needs to have been confident of killing Dan and four armed FBI agents, and (2) he needs to have misjudged this incredibly badly (since in the event only Dan is dead and only Joe is seriously wounded). He needs to have thought it easier to murder his colleagues at the shack when they're all ready to fight rather than afterwards. And now we're supposed to do some fancy deduction when at the actual scene the question would have been "OK, guys, let's check how many shots you've fired"... $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Aug 10 '16 at 16:36
  • $\begingroup$ @GarethMcCaughan The answer, as I have prepared, can be thought out from the information in the question. As for the ambiguity part, That's your perspective once you see the answer $\endgroup$ – Sid Aug 10 '16 at 16:37

Nobody. It was the gun on the floor.

It was mentioned that somebody's gun was on the floor (not clear to me who's), and that a lantern fell and smashed on the floor. So

the heat of the exploding lantern set off the gun.

  • $\begingroup$ Good try, but the gun fell after the lantern had hit the floor. So, Not the answer.. $\endgroup$ – Sid Aug 10 '16 at 15:21
  • $\begingroup$ I guess that this would be more correct with a [lateral-thinking] tag... $\endgroup$ – Mithical Aug 10 '16 at 19:34

Based on the comment about knowing basics about the guns I would suggest

John did it


He cocked an automatic revolver at the door. Wikipedia tells "An automatic revolver (more correctly, a semi-automatic revolver) is a revolver that uses the energy of firing for cocking the hammer and revolving the cylinder". So it's possible this action of cocking was actually firing at the door.


I guess you would need to cock the gun manually the first time so this is probably incorrect.


It was:



George had been hit in his left ear. He was still outside the shack in the back but his gun lay inside- suggests that George wanted Dan to be dead at any cost so he hit Dan inspite he was asked to stay outside. There is also reference that George had been hit in his left ear. This also suggests that he went inside during the firing

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    $\begingroup$ You could use the spoiler (>!) while answering the question... $\endgroup$ – Sid Aug 10 '16 at 15:25

The answer is

Chester as he was the only one with the shotgun A slug can only come from a shotgun 'Joe had a 'slug' ' Washington got one on the shoulder' These quotes prove that Chester shot the two of them


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