Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Nothing to get fired up about

Hidden machine-gun was just an old toy

  • Print

SHOOT -- it may not have been a Tommy gun, but it may have once belonged to a boy named Tommy.

The machine-gun buried in the rubble of what was once the Shanghai Restaurant on King Street in Chinatown turned out to be a toy.

A photo sent to the Free Press Tuesday evening, and shared with Winnipeg police, showed what appeared to be a submachine-gun on the second floor as the iconic building was being torn down.

A United Way employee took the photograph. Sherman Reimer said 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," he said.

The photo showed 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 the demolition crew.

The demo was stopped and on Wednesday, two dozen bystanders gaped through the fence as several officers hunted for the machine-gun.

The Shanghai, dating back to 1883, was a town hall until the City of Winnipeg built its gingerbread house city hall, then the headquarters for the Christian temperance movement. Over the decades, before it turned into a Chinese restaurant, the building housed a corset factory, a tinsmith and a dance hall -- gambling tables were discovered upstairs -- which suggested a machine-gun could've been stashed in the building.

City auctioneer Andy Kaye said a real Tommy gun, a symbol of organized crime during the 1920s and '30s, would be worth $5,000 to $10,000.

But during the search, a piece of the toy gun was retrieved, ending speculation it might have been a Thompson submachine-gun from decades ago.

"We're happy it's been recovered and the fact that it was a toy gun," Winnipeg Police Service spokesman Const. Eric Hofley said.

Demolition boss Wayne Imrie said sifting through buckets of rubble cost his company thousands of dollars but now he's got a story to tell.

"It was a blast," the demolition boss said, standing metres from the debris where the item was recovered. "People were like a bunch of sparrows on a fence here, looking. We were all squinty-eyed."

alexandra.paul@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 22, 2012 A4

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Lindor Reynolds speaks candidly about life with terminal cancer

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Local- A large osprey lands in it's nest in a hydro pole on Hyw 59  near the Hillside Beach turnoff turn off. Osprey a large narrow winged hawk which can have a wingspan of over 54 inches are making a incredible recovery since pesticide use of the 1950's and  1960's- For the last two decades these fish hawks have been reappearing in the Lake Winnipeg area- Aug 03, 2005
  • A  young goose stuffed with bread from  St Vital park passers-by takes a nap in the shade Thursday near lunch  –see Bryksa’s 30 day goose challenge Day 29-June 28, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Will you get out and vote for a new mayor and council?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google