Man Shrugs Off Bullet to Brainpan
Deadwood, South Dakota received a great deal of popular attention about a decade ago with the emergence of a wild western television series bearing the town’s name. In the three seasons that Deadwood aired on HBO, a recurring cast of actors recounted the exploits of legendary frontier figures, such as Sheriff Seth Bullock, Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane, and the colorful saloon owner, Al Swearengen. As is typically the case with many works of historical fiction, the writers of the series tended to cherry pick and embellish the most exciting elements of Deadwood’s past, which primarily centered around the Black Hills Gold Rush of the mid-1870s.
Although Deadwood remains an entertaining on-demand series, one of the more bizarre stories coming out of the South Dakota mining town never made it past HBO’s cutting room floors. According to official records, in January 1877, a man survived for 67 days after being shot in the head with a revolver. The story goes that the victim, David Lunt, was chatting with a few friends at a local saloon when a crazed drunk burst through the doors. The town marshal, Con Stapleton, attempted to disarm the madman, who inadvertently shot the nearby Lunt through the head.
Discharging a revolver into an unsuspecting person’s face typically leaves the victim dead. Amazingly, David Lunt sat up, dusted off his britches, and headed back home. The stunned onlookers watched Lunt leave the bar and stroll back to his house, with a hole completely through his head. Lunt didn’t complain of any pain and resumed his daily life, while his wild assailant was hauled off to jail. About two months later, however, Lunt began complaining about headaches. He later succumbed to his gruesome wound. An autopsy revealed that a shard of Lunt’s skull had embedded itself into his brain, eventually forming a terminal abscess.
About two months later, however, Lunt began complaining about headaches. He later succumbed to his gruesome wound. An autopsy revealed that a shard of Lunt’s skull had embedded itself into his brain, eventually forming a terminal abscess.