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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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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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I recognize Ing Soo. I had just finished eating a meal in the restaurant when the trouble began. Myself, Ing Soo and Spencer were in the restaurant. I had just got and paid for my meal. Spencer had the meal in front of him at the end of the table and he was half asleep over it and Ing Soo went up to him and shook him by the shoulder that led to words and Ing Soo made straight and picked up a chair and he struck at him with a chair and Spencer pitched up another chair. The next thing Spencer was ling on the floor. Ing Soo ran back into the kitchen and picked up a small coal hammer which is under the stove and he went back to Spencer and struck at him two or three times with the coal hammer. In the commotion Spencer got up and ran to the back door I was going out to the front door and I heard a window smash. I saw no more until the Chinaman was away down the bank walking on the railroad track aay from the wagon bridge. The next thing Constable Walsh arrested him.

I did not see him with any gun but heard three or four shots the first two or three were quick one after the other.


This happened Thursday 14th, Afternoon.

I did not hear any mention of pay between Ing Soo and Spencer. The trouble in the restaurant lasted very quickly. There were some words when Ing Soo shook Spencer. The Chinaman picked up the chair first. I heard the window smash but cannot say I heard the stone fall. Ing Soo followed Spencer out to the back. I had had a few drinks but knew quite well what I was doing, my memory is quite clear to what I saw in the restaurant. Then I heard the shots I was on the street front, and then went over to the top of the Bank. The shots were fired after the window was broken. I did not see Spencer when the first shot was fired. I was in front of the restaurant.

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

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