Constable William H. Hardmount

Constable William H. Hardmount

Monterey County Constable's Office, California

End of Watch Saturday, September 2, 1854

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William H. Hardmount

Constable William Hardmount was shot and killed in a Monterey dance hall known as the California Exchange.

He was attempting to break up a fight between a group of several men from America, Mexico, and Ireland.

The suspects were fighting over rum and a member of the gang shot and killed Constable Hardmount when he attempted to stop the fight. Despite being wounded, he was able to return fire and wounded one of the men.

The gang escaped, but the wounded member was arrested and hung the following day in the center of town.

Tiburcio Vasquez, a 19-year-old member of the gang soon became the gang's leader and went on to become one of California's most notorious outlaws robbing and killing with the gang he led for the next 20 years. On November 6th, 1873, his gang killed Constable William Stewart Mettler in Kern County. The man was apprehended in Los Angeles on May 14th, 1874, and hanged on March 19th, 1875.

The place where he was captured is modern-day West Hollywood near the sets where many western movies were filmed, including movies about him. He was thought to be the source of the bandit-hero "Zorro."

Tiburcio Vasquez was the main suspect in the murder of both constables and many others. After his capture, he stated that he never killed either officer or anyone else. He said only members of his gang, who were killed or disappeared over the years, were responsible for all the murders.


  • Age Not available
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Shotgun
  • Offender Several escaped; One hanged

fight call

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No passage of time will ever erase your service and sacrifice by your fellow law enforcement.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

September 2, 2020

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