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1913/130 Rex vs. Ing Soo – attempted murder

As part of the Chinese Historical Wrongs Legacy Initiative, the BC Archives has digitized a selection of documents related to criminal prosecutions against the Chinese community from 1866 to 1914, found in GR-0419. These are mainly records created as part of the preliminary hearing held before a judge in order to determine whether there was sufficient evidence to proceed to trial. There are often lengthy witness statements, and cross examinations by both prosecution and defense lawyers. The eventual verdict is sometimes recorded on the outside of the docket. They offer a fascinating glimpse into 19th and early 20th century criminal activity around the province, and ways in which the Chinese community was stereotyped. The records offered for transcription here are a small selection; for additional digitized material from GR-0419 click here. 

*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum. Some materials may contain content that is racist, sexist or otherwise offensive. In addition, GR-0419 records deal with subjects such as assault, murder and abuse, which may upset some readers. The Royal BC Museum is only the custodian of archival materials; the content does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Royal BC Museum.
*All transcriptions are provided by volunteers, and the accuracy of the transcriptions is not guaranteed. Please be sure to verify the information by viewing the image record, or visiting the BC Archives in person. 

BC Archives G-0419

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Robert McGUIGAN, Sworn :

I know the Chinaman, accused, I was just in front of the Mountain house Restaurant on Thursday afternoon coming along the sidewalk and I saw Ing Soo shooting at Spencer out back of the restaurant. I was standing between restaurant barber shop building. Spencer was right at the back of the restaurant in the yard. Ing Soo was chasing Spenser up firing at him. Spencer was running towards the bank to get out of the way. Ing Soo and Spencer were two yards away when the first shot was fired. I saw no more. I walked into the Hotel.


I was standing on the sidewalk and was the length of the building away from him. Ing Soo has the gun pointed right at Spencer. Ing Soo shot three shots at Spencer as quick as he could pump them and about two or three yards distance as near as he could hold it on him. I have been in this Chinaman’s house often.

I do not know Spencer at all.

I had been having a few drinks byt was sober, but the only time I was real sober as was in the morning when I got up, and that’s the way it always is in town. Spencer was running as fast as he could run and Ing Soo was chasing after him. Ing Soo had the gun pointed at Spencer when I came in sight. Spencer might have been drunk as far as I know.. I did not call the Police or call anyone. I was called to give evidence last night. The Chinaman is pretty bad shot. I did not see anything more after that. The last I saw of Spencer was still running with the Chinaman following him. I came into town on Monday last.

The above evidence is taken in the presence and hearing of the accused.

(Sgd) Robert McGuigan

(Sgd) Arthur B. Fenwick, J.P.

(Sgd) R.L.T. Galbraith, J.P.

BC Archives GR-0419 Box 175 File 1913/130 / BRITISH COLUMBIA. ATTORNEY GENERAL. / Attorney General documents.

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