Angry cries broke the stillness. A mob with black axel-greased faces shouted obscenities, storming the jail. They fired through the door, killing Hyrum instantly. John rushed to hold the door shut. Crashing through the entry, the men smashed John against the wall and continued to fire their weapons. John fought back, deflecting the discharging guns with a cane as their muzzles came through the door.
“That’s right, Brother Taylor, parry them off as well as you can.” These were Joseph’s last words to John.
John ran for the open window, but a bullet struck his left leg near his knee. He fell onto the windowsill, hitting his pocket watch and throwing him back into the room. Bleeding, he dragged himself under the bed; bullets pierced his right thigh and his left hand.
The Prophet ran to the window. Did he do it to draw the gun fire away from his friends? Weapons fired on him from inside and outside the jail. Joseph Smith leaped from the window and was killed.
The mob left the jail, gathering outside.