Tombstone remembers victim in deadly shooting

Barry Lee Chappell
Barry Lee Chappell

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The Birdcage Theatre in Tombstone lost an employee of about two decades Wednesday. LeRoy Colomy was considered its right arm. But people there said that they don't know what led to such a tragedy.

"They call him Lightning Leroy. He was a super guy, I mean he was quick draw, he was a good guy, he loved life," said friend a Amber Wagner.

"Everybody in Tombstone loved him. Never heard anything bad said about him. They might say something bad about other people but I never heard anything bad said about LeRoy. He was just a likable person," said Birdcage owner William Hunley.

Cochise County Sheriff said that about a quarter after 1 p.m. on Safford Street, Colomy was confronted by Barry Chappell. The two had an argument. Chappell drew a hand gun and allegedly shot Colomy multiple times. The sheriff said that Chappell then drove to Allen Street and told a clerk to call 911 because he just shot someone. The Tombstone Marshall picked up Chappell without incident as he walked down Allen Street.

"Couldn't comment on it because, I don't know. I don't know if even LeRoy knew," Hunley said.

Sheriff's deputies found Colomy already dead in the area of the shooting. It was an abrupt end to a man considered a friend to many who were still grappling with that reality but who also knew life must continue in a place so many visit for its history.

"It was very emotional, but all of the tourists could sense something but the wonderful thing was all the merchants, for LeRoy, were still professional and still had tombstones heartbeat, which is what LeRoy was," Wagner said.

"He was usually at my house every morning for a cup of coffee and there will be an empty place at the table tomorrow," Hunley said.

Chappell was in the Cochise County Jail on first degree murder. No services have been announced for Colomy.

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