Mike Walker (above) describes his friend Craig Andrew Ford as a sensitive

Coroner identifies victim in Nanaimo police shooting

NANAIMO - Craig Andrew Ford, 49, described as non-violent, “really sweet guy” by friends.

Mike Walker says he just wants people to know about the human side of his friend.

Craig Andrew Ford, 49, died in Nanaimo Tuesday after he was shot by police. Ford, who was officially identified by the B.C. Coroners Service Thursday, was allegedly brandishing a knife when he was shot on Country Club Drive behind St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church.

“I want to make sure that he wouldn’t come off like real druggie, because he wasn’t,” Walker said.

News of Ford’s death came as a shock to Walker, 55, who said Ford had returned to Nanaimo Saturday, three days before his death, after visiting with his parents in Ontario.

Walker said he knew Ford had struggled with addiction, but had never seen him on drugs or had any indication of drug use.

“I was his closest friend here in Nanaimo,” Walker said.

Ford had a reputation as a talented carpenter. He and Walker, a painter, did numerous jobs together during the eight years of their friendship.

“He was gifted, a talented worker,” Walker said. “He was meticulous and always gave extra, always gave 110 per cent. He had a big heart. So I’d never, ever seen him strung out. That was a side of him that I never really saw and I just contacted some of his past clients and they’d never seen that either.”

Maynard Fitzgerald got to know Ford over a period of a couple of weeks when Ford was hired to install a tile kitchen back splash shortly before Ford left for Ontario to help his parents with some renovations. He described him as “a man who was very introspective and understood himself.”

“It’s just a horrible tragedy that this happened to such a really nice fellow,” Fitzgerald said.

Walker said Ford was always into new things, was a health fanatic and in the years he knew Ford he’d never seen a hint of violence in his personality.

“It shocked me that he was wandering around with a knife because, I mean, he was the most gentle person you could ever meet,” Walker said. “He was a really sweet guy.”

But Walker also described Ford as “an ultra-sensitive guy” who at times could become “overwhelmed by life,” which would lead to feelings of paranoia when life got him down. He returned to Nanaimo after breaking his wrist in Ontario.

Walker also said Ford had been involved in a collision with another car while driving in 2013. No one died, but a young girl in the other car was injured. Ford did some jail time, and had also suffered a temporary coma and a shattered leg in the crash, which confined him to a wheelchair for several months. Ford also did seven months of drug rehabilitation.

“He was trying to get his life back together,” Walker said.

Just Posted

Nanaimo baseball stadium lighting project costs increasing by $350,000

Finance committee recommends LED lights at Serauxmen Stadium

Tribal Journeys go through Snaw-Naw-As, Snuneymuxw, Stz’uminus territory

Paddlers now in Ladysmith en route to final stop in Lummi, Wash.

Nanaimo-Opoly will let board game players deal Harbour City properties

Victoria’s Outset Media and Walmart Canada partner on local edition of popular game

Nanaimo RCMP arrest individual in connection with stolen e-bike

Arrest made following traffic stop on July 12

Man who pleaded guilty to beating over drug debt sees nine-year jail sentence

Colin Damen Gary Lamontagne sentenced in B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

World’s fastest bathtub racer to be determined this weekend in Nanaimo

Great International World Championship Bathtub Race caps full weekend of downtown events

Beefs & Bouquets, July 18

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail bulletinboard@nanaimobulletin.com

Celebrity adds star power to Green Party town hall in Nanaimo

Pamela Anderson attended with representatives from U.S.-based environmental group

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

UPDATE: West Kelowna fawn euthanized, not claimed by sanctuary

Gilbert the deer has been euthanized after a suitable home was not found in time

BC Wildfire Service warns wet weather no reason to be complacent

Fire risk currently low for much of B.C. compared to same time over last two years.

Bank of Canada lowers qualifying rate used in mortgage stress tests

Home sales softened last year after the federal government introduced new stress test rules for uninsured mortgages

Most Read