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Canada Victim in random Winnipeg bus stabbing remembered as a ‘gentle person and a kind man’

15:23  26 may  2020
15:23  26 may  2020 Source:   globalnews.ca

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a man wearing a hat: Raymond Wesley Hill, 57, died after a random stabbing on a Winnipeg Transit bus Sunday. © Submitted by family Raymond Wesley Hill, 57, died after a random stabbing on a Winnipeg Transit bus Sunday.

The niece of Winnipeg’s latest homicide victim says her uncle was a gentle man, who was likely on his way to visit friends when he was stabbed in an unprovoked attack on a city bus Sunday.

Taralee Beardy tells Global News her uncle, Raymond Wesley Hill, died in hospital early Monday after he was stabbed on a bus near Colony Street and Ellice Avenue around 3 p.m.

Police say Hill, 57, and the suspect each got on the bus at the same stop a few minutes before the attack. They say the suspect started an unprovoked altercation with Hill before stabbing him.

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“I can’t make sense of that,” said Beardy of the apparent randomness of her uncle’s killing.

“He was a gentle person and a kind man — he never showed aggression to anyone.

“I feel very angry, upset that anybody would do this to him.”

Beardy, who spoke to Global News over video chat from Split Lake, Man., said her uncle lived at the Salvation Army and would often take walks through Winnipeg’s downtown to visit friends.

She thinks that’s what he was doing Sunday when he was attacked.

“Minding his own business, he liked visiting people, greeting people,” she said.

“He was always happy, even under any circumstances he was in, he never complained.”

Beardy said Hill has two grown children and also leaves behind two granddaughters.

She said the tragedy comes as the family is already grieving the loss of her aunt, who died of cancer in March.

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The ongoing pandemic is making the losses even more difficult, said Beardy.

“We lost her through the COVID-19 and now we’re still dealing with COVID-19 and we may not even be able to go to his funeral,” she said.

“We weren’t able to go to her funeral in Churchill … and I’m not sure what the plans are for him.”

'A slow, gradual rise of violence'

Police said Hill was able to flee the bus and flag down a passing police cruiser after the attack. They said he collapsed soon after and officers gave him first aid until medical help arrived.

Hill was rushed to hospital in critical condition where he later died. He is Winnipeg’s 17th homicide victim of the year.

Justin Gabriel James, 46, has been charged with manslaughter in connection with Hill's killing.

READ MORE: Winnipeg police arrest chainsaw-wielding suspect attacking drivers, cyclist

The ​homicide comes after an exceptionally busy 24 hours for police that saw officers called to several stabbings and 14 reports of gunfire between Saturday and Sunday morning.

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Police spokesperson Const. Jay Murray said the amount of crime police saw over the weekend is partly cyclical and comes with the warmer weather.

He said police don’t expect the violence to slow down anytime soon.

"I think it's a safe bet to expect that we can see more of this this summer,” he said Monday.

“We've seen a slow, gradual rise of violence in the city and it's certainly very concerning to the Winnipeg Police Service."

While Hill’s family struggles to make sense of the killing and begins making plans for another funeral, Beardy says she wants her uncle to be remembered as a kind man.

“We’ll love him and miss him — I can’t believe anybody would do this," she said. "He wasn’t mean, he was a nice person.

“I just want people to know that he was a gentle person and he was loved by his family.”

--With files Joe Scarpelli

Provincial police officer charged with sexual assault, sexual interference .
SMITHS FALLS, Ont. — Provincial police in eastern Ontario say one of their officers is facing charges of sexual assault and sexual interference on a minor. OPP in Smiths Falls say they received a complaint about an incident in 2013, and their professional standards bureau started investigating in January. They say the charges were laid against a police officer who has been with the force for 19 years. Investigators say they're not releasing theOPP in Smiths Falls say they received a complaint about an incident in 2013, and their professional standards bureau started investigating in January.

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