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Doctor details autopsy results of Nanaimo mill shooting victims during trial

NANAIMO – Jurors heard testimony from a forensic doctor during the trial of Kevin Addison.
The forensic doctor that performed autopsies on victims of the April 2014 Western Forest Products mill shooting took the stand Tuesday.

One of the survivors of a shooting at a mill in Nanaimo two years ago took the stand in B.C. Supreme Court Tuesday.

Earl Kelly testified against Kevin Douglas Addison, 49, who stands accused of two counts of first-degree murder of Michael Lunn and Fred McEachern and two counts of attempted murder against Tony Sudar and Kelly.

Kelly, Western Forest Products’ mill production coordinator at the time, testified that he had been meeting with McEachern and Andy Vanger, then-mill manager, when Kelly said someone began shooting.

Kelly said he saw a movement in the hallway outside his office and what appeared to be a gun barrel. McEachern had been facing the door, there was a shot from the doorway and McEachern collapsed onto his hands and knees.

A commotion ensued, said Kelly, and he saw McEachern grab a chair and lift it over his head as he exited the office.

Vanger had testified Friday that McEachern had hit the shooter over the head and he and McEachern held the shooter down with the chair.

In terms of Kelly’s injuries, he said the entry wound lower right side of his back. He had a perforation to his kidney and liver, partial lung collapse, as well as several broken ribs.

He was airlifted to a hospital in Victoria where surgery was performed. He remained in hospital for 15 days.

Jurors learned the extent of wounds victims suffered in the Western Forest Products mill shooting as a forensic doctor also took the stand during trial Tuesday.

Dr. Dan Straathof, a forensic pathologist, performed autopsies on both Lunn and McEachern on May 7, 2014, and detailed his findings.

In describing Lunn’s injuries, Straathof testified the entrance wound from the gunshot was over the back of the right, upper arm, toward the side. There was a lot of bleeding and tissue damage in the right upper arm and right armpit areas.

The cause of death, said Straathof, was a single shotgun wound to the right arm and chest. There was tissue damage involving both lungs. There were fragments from the shotgun shell in the left chest cavity around the left lung.

Straathof said there was additional damage from the shotgun wound, with air leaking out from the lung into the space around the lungs thereby collapsing the lungs, so they were less capable of supporting respiration or breathing.

At the time of the autopsy, Straathof noted a small amount of blood in the cavities, which he said suggested blood must have drained out through the shotgun wound. The entry wound was 2.5 centimetres in diameter on the right upper arm.

Without full medical equipment at hand to deal with the injures, Straathof estimated that death could happen within minutes.

McEachern’s cause of death, said Straathof, was the shotgun wound to the abdomen.

Straathof said McEachern’s entrance wound occurred right side of the lower back area and he suffered injuries including to his right diaphragm, liver and intestine. McEachern also had almost 425 millilitres of blood in his abdominal cavity.

The liver suffered a large amount of damage, which Straathof said would lead to a substantial amount of bleeding.

The trial is scheduled to go until Oct. 14.

Karl Yu

About the Author: Karl Yu

I joined Black Press in 2010 and cover education, court and RDN. I am a Ma Murray and CCNA award winner.
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