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Vincent "Mad Dog" Coll (born July 20, 1908 — February 8, 1932) was a notorious Irish hitman in the early 20th-century in New York City. Coll gained notoriety for the accidental killing of a young child during a mob kidnap attempt.

Vincent Coll was the originator of the "drive-by shooting".

Early years

Born Uinseann Ó Colla in Gweedore, a small town in Co. Donegal, Ireland. His parents emigrated to the United States a year later after his birth. Coll grew up in the Bronx where he was raised by an elderly woman who took him in as her own. He joined the Gophers street gang after being expelled several times from many different catholic schools. After joining the gang he became an apprentice of also reputed mobster Dutch Schultz.

Hired gun and kidnapper

Coll's ruthlessness made him extremely useful to Schultz at one time. At the age of 19 Coll killed a bootlegger named Anthony Borello {who refused to sell alcohol on orders of Schultz} and a dance hall hostress named Mary Smith. Eventually Coll decided to pull of a job of his own, he decided to rob a dairy without Schultz's authorization. Instead of acting apologetic Coll demanded to be an equal partner. After Schultz declined the events led to a shooting war between Schultz's and Coll's gangs. One of the deaths in the feud was Coll's brother, Peter, who was shot while driving down a street in Harlem. To make money Coll would kidnap Mobsters and hold them for ransom.

Child Killer

On July 28, 1931c Coll attempted to kidnap Joseph Rao a low ranking member in Schultz's gang. Coll was unsuccessful and a firefight ensued. While the shooting in progress a crowd of children was caught in the middle. A five year old child named Michael Vengali was killed after being shot in the abdomen by mistake. Coll was immediately set to trial. In December 1931 after an intense legal battle Coll was acquitted.


Both Dutch Schultz and Owney Madden had put a 50,000 dollar bounty on Coll's head. At one time Schultz even walked into a police station and offered a house in Westchester to whoever killed Coll. On February 1, 1932 four or five gunmen invaded an apartment in the Bronx which supposedly belonged to Coll. Three of Coll's mobsters were killed and three other were injured, but Coll himself was not there, He showed up thirty minutes after the shooting.

A week after the apartment shootings. At 12:30 a.m., midnight on February 8, Coll was using a telephone booth talking to Owney Madden (Schultz's right hand man) was demanding 50,000 dollars. Eventually Madden traced down the call while keeping Coll on the line. Three men soon arrived in a dark limousine. Two of them stepped out while one of them waited behind the wheel. They entered the drugstore, one of the men told the cashier "keep cool alright" as he pulled out a Thompson sub-machine gun from his overcoat and opened fire on Coll in the glass phone booth. A total of fifteen bullets were found in Coll's body at the Morgue. There might have been more that passed through. Coll's killers drove off and were never identified.