While police have yet to name the man they shot in an apparent confrontation July 15 in Haliburton County, neighbour Brian Nash thinks the 73-year-old was troubled.
Nash told The Highlander he and his family simply referred to their neighbour as “buddy” and didn’t know his real name.
Nash said he’d lived next door for about 10 years. However, he said that in all of that time he had only seen the man a few times and never spoken to him, although he appeared to be in great physical shape Nash said the man built a log home on the property using out-of-town tradespeople, and had a gate and no trespassing signs.
He said that while out walking the dog, he did encounter the man in his yard. He recalled calling out, “hi,” but said the man “wouldn’t even acknowledge you were there, let alone look you in the eye or respond.
“Nobody saw him,” Nash said in an interview.
Nash added that he and other neighbours often heard guns being fired on the property.
“Big friggin’ guns,” Nash said of the sound.
He said they contacted OPP but were told they would have to make a formal complaint by name and they weren’t willing to do so. Nash said that in his opinion, “this man was a very disturbed guy.”
He further conjectured he had gone through some sort of “major trauma. He just wanted to be in solitude. He didn’t want to talk to anybody.”
The OPP and the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) continue to investigate.
The SIU finished its on-scene work at the residence on Indian Point Road July 17. OPP then attended to do its own criminal investigation, according to central region acting sergeant Jason Folz.
Folz said next of kin notification has been an issue. SIU communications spokeswoman Monica Hudon said they are still working on positively identifying the man.
“Once that is done, and we have permission from next-of-kin to release his name, the SIU will do so,” Hudon said.
Hudon noted a post-mortem was completed last week, but SIU considers the results evidence and will not release them during its investigation.
Meanwhile, police brought a significant presence for their own work at the scene, with several vehicles and a command post.
“Major investigation, so we will utilize all of our resources that we have available and bring people in to complete this as quickly as we can,” he said.
The scene includes the man’s residence but also extended onto a small section of the road leading into it.
Folz said the OPP is trying to get as much information as possible about the man.
“Looking at the totality of the situation,” Folz said. “Looking for a cause, or triggers or any kind of history, or any kind of clues as to why this happened.”
The man was involved in an altercation with a staff member at Easton’s Valu-mart in Minden on the morning of July 15 before recklessly speeding away to his home on Indian Point Road, where he was involved in a shooting.