THROUGH THE ARCHIVES: Photographer dies in tragic shooting incident

From the News Letter, October 24, 1902

Mr James Hunter, a well-known Ulster photographer, had died tragically while out fowling at Groomsport, reported the News Letter.
Mr James Hunter, a well-known Ulster photographer, had died tragically while out fowling at Groomsport, reported the News Letter.

Mr James Hunter, a well-known Ulster photographer, had died tragically while out fowling at Groomsport, reported the News Letter.

Mr Hunter, from Victoria Street in Bangor, had been out shooting with two others when as they approached the rocks at Groomsport the accident happened.

One of Mr Hunter’s companions gun (“a powerful No 8”) had been left loaded under the seat of the boat with its hammers down.

It appears that Mr Hunter reached for the gun and caught it by the muzzle and pulled it towards him.

Unfortunately one of the dog-heads caught itself in the seat of the boat, opened slightly, closing again and then discharging the shotgun cartridge.

Sadly the barrel of the gun was pointed directly at Mr Hunter’s chest and he was shot through the heart and “death was almost instantaneous”.

The News Letter reported: “The poor fellow, after the shot went off he pressed his hands to his breast . . . and cried ‘I am shot” and then sank down on the bottom of the boat dead.”

Mr Hunter was the only child of Mr Hunter, who had owned a barber’s shop on Main Street in Bangor, and Mrs Hunter.

He was just 25-years-old and “being only about a year married” and left a wife and young infant son as well as both his parents to mourn his loss.