The eldest brother provided wheat for Giuliano's family, but he was called to war too. It was up to Salvatore Giuliano, just twenty years old, to provide the necessities for his family. He was inexperienced of the modus operandi. On the 2nd of September 1943, he ran into a patrol of two country wardens and two carabinieri. His prayers and explanations were of no use. He was accused of smuggling two sacks of wheat of about forty kilos each. They seized his mule and wheat. They wanted to arrest and take him to the "American garrison". He showed his documents and asked to be denounced but not to be arrested. He thought that the soldiers were convinced, when they saw four mules overloaded. They were in any case real smugglers. The young Giuliano was left free and alone. He tried to flee but the soldiers fired six rounds at him. He was hit twice in his hip.
The carabinieri Giuseppe Mancino was ordered to finish him off, if he was still alive. Giuliano, who heard this, leaped forward and wounded him seriously with a pistol which he had kept in his boot. The soldier died of his wounds the following day, while Giuliano regained his full health after a month struggling for his life. He then sought refuge in the hills around Montelepre.