December 14, 1879: Johnny Ringo shot Louis Hancock in the throat at a saloon in Safford.
December 1881 : U.S. Marshal Crawley Dake commissioned Wyatt Earp as a Deputy U.S. Marshal by telegraph from Prescott.
December 14, 1881 : An attempted hijacking of the Benson night stage that contained Mayor John Clum took place, resulting in his temporary disappearance. It is theorized that since night stages did not transport valuables or the mails, it can only be explained as an unsuccessful attempt on the mayor’s life.
December 17, 1881 : The Tombstone Epitaph received a letter threatening Judge Wells Spicer with death if he did not immediately leave the Tombstone area. The judge, who acquitted the Earp party in the O.K. Corral gunfight, responded by having a statement printed in the next day's paper. He called the perpetrators of the threat “low-bred, arrant cowards,” and refused to be intimidated by them.
December 28, 1881 : Deputy U.S. Marshal Virgil Earp was gunned down on Fifth Street, between the Oriental Saloon and the Golden Eagle Brewery. He survived the attempted murder, but lost the use of his arm after several inches of it had to be removed because it was shattered by buckshot. Several members of the cowboy element were suspected in the shooting, but a trial was never held.