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John Earl Reese


Notice to Close File[1]

On October 22, 1955, John Earl Reese, a 16-year-old African-American youth, was shot and killed in rural Longview, Texas, by a Caucasian man opposed to the integration of public schools. According to media reports, Reese was dancing with friends in a café when he was fatally injured by the gunfire sprayed from a car passing on the highway. Two other patrons of the café, XXXXXX, XX, and XXXXXX, XX, suffered minor gunshot wounds.  That same night, gunmen targeted additional locations where any victims were likely to be African-American. At one location, XXXXXX was praying at XXX bedside at XXXhome when bullets came through the Venetian blinds and bullet fragments sprayed XXX face.   Investigators found seven bullets, one embedded in a bedpost.  At another, windows were shot out of a local school.  And at yet another, mailboxes were damaged by bullet spray.

[1] Memorandum amended June 22, 2021.

Incident Date
Case Name
John Earl Reese
Industry Code(s)
  • None
Case Document
Updated July 26, 2021