- News of the day
RAILWAY STATION TRAGEDY. MAGISTERIAL INQUIRY CONTINUED.
The adjourned inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death of Julius Otto Schupp, on 27th November last, was continued yesterday before Mr. T.S. Beatty, J.P.
Sergeant Sargent conducted the examination of witnesses.
Mr. A. Hartley (Messrs Gorton and Hartley) appeared to watch the inquiry, in the interests of the girl May Waters.
Helen Waters deposed she was the wife of David Waters and resided near Finch Hatton. She remembered the 27th of last month. On that day she came to Mackay with her adopted daughter, May Waters. Her daughter was 16 years of age last June. In the afternoon of that day she went with her daughter to the railway station to return home by the 4 o'clock train to Eungella. They were on the platform some time when she saw a man named Julius Otto Schupp, now deceased, come on to the platform. Schupp came up to where she was standing talking with a woman named Mrs. Faux. Her daughter was sitting on a seat near Mrs. Mansell's stand further up the platform. Schupp said, "I want to speak to you; will you forgive me." She said, "You have been very cruel to May, and also to myself." Schupp said, "I want her and her alone to marry me." Her daughter then walked up to where she and Schupp were speaking. Schupp said to her daughter, ''Come here, I want to talk to you." May replied, "If you have got anything to say come down to Mr. Hartley's with me and say it there." Schupp said, "I have seen Mr. Hartley already." Schupp then said, "All I want is you; are you going to marry me?" May replied. "No, never." Schupp then said, "I will have to fulfil my promise that death would only part us." Witness was alarmed and said, "I will call Mr. Strachan." Mr. Strachan was the Traffic Manager, and was further down the platform. She had gone a few steps when she heard her daughter scream. When she heard the scream she turned round and saw Schupp had hold of May with one hand and held a revolver in the other which he was discharging at May. Witness heard three reports. She got hold of her daughter and said "My child is shot." Schupp ran away and threw down the revolver on the grass just at the northern end of the platform. She saw Schupp going towards Tennyson-street; he was running. She went and picked up the revolver. She then gave it to one of the porters. She would not know the revolver again. She remained with her daughter till the Ambulance came and took the girl to Dr. Williams' private hospital. She never saw Schupp after he threw down the revolver and ran away. She had known Schupp two or three years. Schupp used to visit her place frequently.
At this stage Sergeant Sargent asked whether there was any relationship between the deceased man and the girl May Waters.
Mr. Hartley objected, submitting that this was not relevant to the inquiry. He held that the object of the inquiry was only to show whether the man had met his death by foul means or not.
Sergeant Sargent said in view of Mr. Hartley's objection he would endeavour to show what he required by documentary evidence.
May Waters deposed that up to the 27th of November last she was residing with her adopted father and mother at Eungella. On the morning of that day she came to town with her mother by train. In the afternoon she went to the railway station with her mother, to return home by the 4 o'clock train. After she had been there some time she saw a man named Julius Otto Schupp come on to the platform. He spoke to her. She was walking along the platform when she heard someone call, "May". She looked round and seeing who it was walked on again. He caught up to her and said, "May, won't you give me one more chance?" She replied, "I'll have nothing more to say to you." Schupp said, "Do speak for one moment." She said "If you have anything to say you can go down and say it to Mr. Hartley." He said, "Come up to mother and speak there." Her mother was standing at the other end of the platform. Witness replied, "No." Schupp said, "Well if you don't I'll have to take action on the station." Schupp then walked off quickly towards her mother and she went through the waiting room to see if there was a policeman as she knew what he meant and she was frightened he might do something to her mother. She couldn't see a policeman so she walked up to her mother. Her mother was talking to Schupp at the time. Schupp said, "Come and sit down, May." He wanted her to sit down near him but she wouldn't; she sat alongside her mother. Her mother was therefore in the middle. Schupp then looked around behind her mother and said, "May, won't you marry me?" and she said. ''No. never." Schupp said, "Never?" and she said "No, never!" Schupp said "Nothing else but death will part us." Her mother then got up and left. Witness heard her mother say something about Mr. Strachan. Witness tried to follow her mother and Schupp stopped her, standing right in front of her. Schupp then asked her again if she would marry him and she said "No, never!" Schupp said "Never," and with that drew a revolver out of his coat pocket. He grasped witness by the left wrist with his right, put his left hand into his right hand breast pocket and drew out a revolver. She grabbed the revolver with her right hand as he pulled it out but he twisted it out of her hand. She screamed out but just as she did he fired one shot, and then pulling her towards the end of the platform immediately fired another. She didn't feel any of the two shots take effect because she was excited. A young man came to her assistance just as the second shot was fired and the pellet grazed her shoulder and fell at the young, fellow's feet. He fired a third shot and hit her in the left breast. Her mother came and caught hold of witness and screamed, and Schupp ran away. As he turned the corner witness saw him look round. He threw the revolver down. He ran through a gateway between the end of the station and a boarding house there and went into the street. Witness was afterwards taken by the Ambulance to Dr. Williams' private hospital, where she had been since. She left there that morning, being there under treatment for nine days. She had a wound in the left breast and one on the left shoulder. She was bruised on the left hip. She had known Schupp for about three years. He used to visit her father's and mother's place frequently.
Sergeant Sargent: Had you been corresponding with the deceased?
Mr. Hartley objected. He submitted that whatever caused Schupp to shoot himself had nothing to do with the present inquiry. The inquiry was really only to show Schupp had not been murdered. He submitted there was no need for the Sergeant to try to go into what he endeavoured to do; no useful purpose would be served by it, and might hurt other people's feelings.
Sergeant Sargent said he had no desire to cause any pain to anyone.
Witness, continuing in answer to the Sergeant, said she gave Schupp no provocation for shooting her. She had not seen him since. She was 16 years of age last June. She could not describe the revolver, as she had not seen much of it.
At this stage the matter was further adjourned.
The original Mackay railway station opened in Tennyson Street in 1885. It was replaced by a new station in Boddington Street in 1924. This station closed when a new railway alignment bypassed the city in 1994 and the third station opened in the suburb of Paget.