March 20, 1909
The short wedded life of Charles Hunter, 19 years old, and his wife, Myrtle Hunter, 17 years old, came to a probably tragic end yesterday morning when in a quarrel, the boy-husband shot his wife with a derringer at the home of her parents, 1713 Madison avenue.
Mrs. Hunter lies at the general hospital, where the physicians say she will not live until morning. The husband gave himself up yesterday afternoon to the police, and is in the matron's room at police headquarters where he will not make a statement to the prosecuting attorney.
No one was at the home of the girl's parents except the young couple. They had been married since Christmas, but had not lived together for several months. On several occasions Hunter had visited his wife, but on each occasion the interview generally ended in a quarrel. About 11 o'clock yesterday morning, neighbors heard a shot, and a moment later Mrs. Hunter rushed out of the house and ran to the home of Mrs. Emma Hodder, 1715 Madison avenue. The front of her kimono was covered with blood.
"He shot me," she gasped, and sank to the floor. She carried the derringer in her hands. The Walnut street police ambulance was called, and after giving her emergency treatment, Dr. Ralph A. Shiras took her to the general hospital.
In the meantime Hunter rushed out of the house into the alley, and it was three hours before the police were able to locate him. At last Albert F. Drake, an attorney with offices in the Scarritt building, called police headquarters and said Charles Hunter was ready to give himself up. Charles McVey, desk sergeant, took Hunter from the Scarritt building to police headquarters. In the chief's office he was questioned by an assistant prosecuting attorney, but would sign no statement.
"We haven't' been happy since our marriage," Hunter said later as he sat in a cell in the matron's room. His hands were folded across his breast, and he looked the picture of despair. He is small and looks a mere boy. "She has been going with other fellows," he continued, "and last Wednesday I saw her with someone. That made it more than I could bear. Last night I called on her and we quarreled. When we parted I walked the streets until morning, and in a sort of a trance I went back this morning.
"I don't know how I came to shoot her. I do know that I had a derringer, and that I must have aimed it at her. As soon as I shot I clasped her in my arms and then ran out.
I went down the street a short distance and then determined to go back. I backed out and then walked downtown. I went to Mr. Drake's office, who laughed when I told him that I had shot someone."
At the general hospital the youthful wife laid the blame on her husband.
"I'm going to die," she said faintly about the middle of the afternoon, "but I don't care very much. Charley and I have never been happy. He called this morning and commenced to quarrel. Suddenly he pulled out a pistol and shot me.
" 'Tell them that you did it,' he whispered as he took me in his arms and rushed out doors."
Mrs. Frank Scanlon, the mother of the girl, says that Hunter entered the house after she had left in the morning. She said that he had often threatened Myrtle, and that she was afraid to leave alone.
"I felt like something was going to happen when I left this morning," she said.
Hunter has been employed at the Hippodrome at odd times. He lives with an uncle, Claude Rider, at 1728 Troost avenue.
At the general hospital last night, the youthful wife lay on one of the beds in the surgical ward. She was suffering intense pain but still retained all of her faculties.
"Did they get Charley?" she asked. "Well I'm glad they did for he meant to shoot me."
Mrs. Scanlon, the girl's mother, was at her bedside all night.