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First Hand Accounts History Sergeant Steele

Sgt. Steele’s Statement

South Australian Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1858 – 1889), Saturday 3 July 1880, page 6


I am a sergeant of police at Wangaratta. I arrived here with five men about 5 a.m. We were at once challenged by police, and answered “Wangaratta police.” My men were then distributed around the hut, and I got to the tree near the back door of the hut. There was no firing then. A woman and child came to the back door screaming, and I told the woman if she ran in quick she would not be molested. A man then came to the back door, and I asked him to throw up his arms or I would fire on him. He was only about twenty five yards distant. The man stooped and ran towards the stables, and I fired. He then turned and ran back to the house, and I fired again. I am certain I hit him with the second shot, as he screamed and fell against the door. There was then some hot firing, and the bullets whistled all around me. The firing was kept up for some time, and some of the men behind me called out. It was then breaking day. I looked round, and saw a man stalking down. I thought he was a black fellow, and called on the others to be careful. I then saw him present a revolver and fire at the police. I could see the bullets hitting him, and staggering him for a moment, with no further effect. I therefore thought he had armor on, and determined to have a close shot at him. I ran towards him, and when within ten yards of him he saw me, and turned round to fire at me. I then aimed at his legs, and he staggered, but he still tried to aim at me. I then fired the second barrel on the legs. We were then in the open. He fell and cried, “I’m done, I’m done.” I ran up to him then, and he again tried to shoot me, but I caught the revolver and pushed it down. I was behind him. and he could not turn on me quick enough to shoot me. While I held the revolver away from me he fired the it. Senior-Constable Kelly then came up and assisted me to secure him. So did O’Dwyer, and a host of others at once followed. We only found one revolver on him, and a bag of ammunition. We divested him of his armor. I was strained with the scuffle which ensued.

By AJFPhelan56

I am a 30-something father, writer and artist residing in Melbourne, Australia. Currently writing novels and screenplays on top of running the popular bushranger site A Guide to Australian Bushranging.

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