Kevin Douglas Addison, the accused in the April 30, 2014 Western Forest Products mill shooting, took to the witness box in his B.C. Supreme Court trial Thursday morning.
Addison, 49, stands accused of two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder in relation to the incident. Michael Lunn and Fred McEachern were killed, while Tony Sudar and Earl Kelly survived.
Addison was among workers not called back to the downtown Nanaimo mill in November 2010 after it had shut down in December 2008 and he had unsuccessfully filed grievances in an effort to re-gain employment.
In his opening statement, John Gustafson, Addison’s legal counsel, said the defence doesn’t deny the fact that there was a shooting at the mill, or question who was shot and the nature of their injuries. Furthermore, he didn’t challenge the fact Addison was the shooter. However, Gustafson said his client didn’t have the “necessary mental intention” to commit the crimes of murder and attempted murder.
Addison testified that he had suffered from depression, had trouble sleeping and thought about committing suicide. He said he said that, at the time, he thought Andy Vanger, then-mill manager, had ruined his career and was hampering his employment insurance claims, although he now admits those thoughts were “ridiculous.”
After failing to find out information on an EI claim over the phone on April 30, 2014, he decided to walk to the mill, with a shotgun, to question Vanger “about why he destroyed his career,” although Addison said he had no plan on what to do with the gun.
Addison testified he saw Lunn at the parking lot and couldn’t explain why, but he shot Lunn in the arm and Lunn fell to the ground. Addison said he then proceeded to walk past Lunn toward the mill office. He also said he had no problems with Lunn.
Lunn was also a union rep, who had assisted him with some grievances.
While Addison admitted to shooting Lunn, he said he didn’t have any recollections of shooting Sudar, Kelly and McEachern.
Addison testified that he saw Vanger and two other men in an office and fired a shot straight ahead out a wall. He said he didn’t think he hit anyone.
Addison said a struggle then ensued when Vanger jumped up and tried to wrest the gun out of his hands when it went off. It was pointed at where the other men were sitting, according to Addison. He couldn’t recollect if his finger was on the trigger.
The two pulled back and forth on the gun and it went off a second time. The two continued to struggle and Addison remembers getting hit on the head, but said he didn’t know what the object was.
Eventually, the two fell and Addison said Vanger was lying on his legs and another man sat beside Addison. The man was bleeding, and while he didn’t know it at the time, Addison later learned it was McEachern, a man he had known for 15 years.
Van Alstine is expected to finish cross-examining Addison Friday morning (Sept. 23).