The outpouring of grief for victims of the Western Forest Products shooting continued this week as the memorial outside the mill continued to grow.
Michael Lunn and Fred McEachern were shot and killed when a gunman opened fire at the downtown Nanaimo mill early Wednesday morning. Tony Sudar and Earl Kelly were also injured in the incident.
Kevin Douglas Addison was arrested by Nanaimo RCMP and is facing charges of first-degree murder.
Marlene Lunn, Michael’s wife of 44 years, said her family is taking it one step at a time and described her husband as a man with a great sense of humour.
“He was always ready to do whatever it took to make people happy, it didn’t matter,” Lunn told the News Bulletin. “His sense of humour was beyond, it was infectious. There was no such thing as depression in his vocabulary. He didn’t understand it, he didn’t get it, he didn’t have a bad day.”
Michael loved red T-shirts and Marlene said a shirt with the inscription “Let me drop everything and work on your problem,” epitomized her husband.
She doesn’t hold any hatred in her heart, stating it is a waste of energy.
“Michael never held a grudge, it’s just not in our vocabulary,” Lunn said. “I feel for Kevin Addison’s family. Michael had helped Kevin Addison in previous years and then counselling him … you can’t change anything. Anger’s not going to change anything.”
She said her family is being supported by a great network of family and friends.
The McEachern family requested privacy.
Kelly is in stable condition at Victoria General Hospital, said Valerie Wilson, spokeswoman for Vancouver Island Health Authority. Sudar, who survived the shooting, said he didn’t want to comment but would be issuing a statement next week.
Addison appeared in provincial court in Nanaimo Thursday and was held in custody. He is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder with a firearm in relation to Wednesday morning’s shootings. He will make his next court appearance via video on May 13.
Outside the Nanaimo courthouse, John Gustafson, Addison’s legal counsel, said the investigation was still in the early stages and he couldn’t comment on Addison’s mental condition or whether an evaluation will be ordered.
“It’s far too early to tell anything about that – we’re just starting to get the facts now. It’s very, very early stages,” Gustafson said. “Right now I just encourage everyone who’s taking any interest in this matter to wait until all the facts are in before making up their minds.”
Neil MacKenzie, spokesman for the Criminal Justice Branch, also said the case was in the early stages.
“Once the matter is before the court we can’t really discuss a lot, other than just to give some information as far as the process,” MacKenzie said. “We can’t really get into specifics of the allegations or the evidence that might ultimately form part of a case.”
A memorial service for Michael Lunn will take place 3 p.m. on May 10 at Generations Church at 1300 Princess Royal Ave. in Nanaimo.