Source: Buffalo Evening News
Source type: newspaper
Document type: article
Document title: “Charles J. Close a Witness of the Shooting”
City of publication: Buffalo, New York
Date of publication: 7 September 1901
Volume number: 42
Issue number: 127
|“Charles J. Close a Witness of the Shooting.” Buffalo Evening News 7 Sept. 1901 v42n127: p. 8.|
|McKinley assassination (eyewitness accounts: Charles J. Close); Charles J. Close (public statements); McKinley assassination (eyewitnesses).|
|Charles J. Close; George B. Cortelyou; George F. Foster; John J. Geary; Harry F. Henshaw; John G. Milburn; Francis P. O’Brien.|
Charles J. Close a Witness of the Shooting
Says the President Walked 30 Feet to a Chair after He Was Shot.
MURDERER HELD ARM AS IF IN A SLING.
Private O’Brien of the Seacoast Artillery Secured the Pistol and Refused to Give It Up.
Charles J. Close, Superintendent of Buildings,
who had charge of the arrangements of the Temple of Music for the President’s
reception, was an eyewitness of the tragedy. The following is his account of
it as related to a NEWS reporter this morning:
“I stood there, about 20 feet away,” said Supt. Close, indicating a spot on a diagram in an aisle leading to the platform, to the right and rear of where the President stood.
“I was merely sizing up the looks of the people coming to the reception. I saw the President pat the head of a child on the arms of an old man, then a few others came, and then the man that did the shooting. He carried his right hand wrapped in a handkerchief, and against his chest as if in a sling. He extended his left hand to greet the President and then two shots were fired.
“I saw the President clasp both hands over his abdomen. He turned a little and Milburn, Cortelyou and Detective Geary caught him.
“He never reeled or flinched. He made some remark about not letting the matter be exaggerated.
“Of his own accord, and supported only by Geary, he walked past where I was standing to a chair and sat down, 30 feet from where he was shot.
“His calmness and presence of mind were wonderful. He never said anything more, but turned his eyes toward the ceiling. When the ambulance came he arose from the chair and went and laid himself upon the stretcher without assistance.
“As soon as the shooting was done Foster grabbed the assailant and threw him across the aisle. A colored man hit the murderer a smash in the nose and he went down. I saw an artillery man grab the smoking pistol from his hand. A secret service officer, I think he was, got the handkerchief. The artillerymen took him for an accomplice and handled him roughly to get the handkerchief from him. Secretary Cortelyou tried to get the pistol from the artillery man, O’Brien, but the latter wouldn’t give it up. He gave it to his corporal.
“There was a regular football scrimmage taking place over the prostrate murderer. He was finally dragged by the heels to the office of Henshaw, the custodian of the building.
“At the report of the shots somebody cried: ‘Close the doors; don’t let anybody in or out.’”