Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Machine gun turns out to be toy

Replica found in rubble of demolished Shanghai Restaurant

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Shoot! The machine gun was just a toy.

A chunk of a plastic machine gun has been found in a pile of rubble that was once the Shanghai Restaurant.

Two Winnipeggers out for a walk photographed the gun in a second-storey suite above the restaurant Tuesday when the building was being demolished. They snapped some photos before heading back to their workplace in the area.

Hours later, the rest of the building was knocked over by Imrie Demolition.

The pictures were sent to the Free Press late Tuesday night, and were also shared with the Winnipeg Police Service.

But today, during a search of the rubble, a piece of the toy gun was retrieved, ending speculation it might have a real Tommy gun from decades gone by.

And it was Free Press photographer Ken Gigliotti who first spotted it this afternoon as others were searching for it.

The chance photo shows a machine gun, tucked away from view near the bottom of a cabinet. It was exposed when the wall next to the cabinet was torn away by demolition crews.

A United Way employee took the shot. Sherman Reimer said this morning he had no idea he had captured a gun in the photos he took.

"We were watching the building coming down and I grabbed my camera and snuck in a few shots for posterity. I thought nothing of it," he said.

That was about 9 a.m. or 10 a.m. Tuesday.

Reimer said he downloaded the shots but didn’t look at them closely. Sometime later, someone else at United Way went to check out the shots and made the strange discovery.

History

Updated on Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 1:12 PM CST: Updates with piece of toy gun found.

9:23 PM: Clarifies

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