In 1877 Kelly shot and injured a policeman who was trying to arrest his brother, Dan Kelly, for horse theft. The brothers fled to the bush, where two other men joined them to form the Kelly gang. The Kelly gang’s perpetration of a series of daring robberies in the Victoria–New South Wales borderland (1878–80) captured the imagination of the public. Some viewed Ned Kelly as a personification of the plight of workers set against large landowners in an economically depressed period.
In June 1880, after several police shootings and robberies, the gang took possession of Glenrowan township, where they were besieged by police. Kelly was wounded and captured in the ensuing fray; his fellow gang members were killed. Later that year he was taken to Melbourne jail, where he was hanged.