46-year-old Nigerian father of three and nursing student, Nicholas Ozoechi Nwonye was stabbed to death in Canada, an attack the police say was random and unprovoked.
Nwonye was on his way home from Hersak’s lecture hall when the deadly attack took place, at 6:45 p.m. on the westbound platform of the City Hall LRT station in downtown Calgary last Friday night, June 2.
Stabbed in the chest and abdomen by a man he’d never met, Nwonye was rushed to hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries. He only recently moved to Canada with his wife and three children from Nigeria, and was only four weeks into his nursing program before his tragic death.
A man accused of the fatal stabbing was caught by the police as he attempted to flee the scene in an eastbound train. Keeton Michel Gagnon, 39, (pictured) has been charged with second-degree murder. He will next appear in court on Friday, June 23, 2017. Gagnon has a long criminal history with police in British Columbia dating back two decades, reports CBS. He is a career criminal with dozens of convictions including assault with a weapon, robbery, escaping custody, and many breaches.
Friends have described the deceased as a kind person who, even in the briefest of moments, left an indelible impression.
“He was just such a treat to have there,” said Rhonda Hersak, an instructor at Bow Valley College, where Nwonye was enrolled in the school’s practical nursing program.
“He was a very kind, empathetic individual. He smiled all the time.”
Hersak remembered Nwonye as a deeply spiritual man whose faith formed a large part of his life.
“Being the only male in the class, Nwonye brought a unique insight, Hersak said — laughing as she described him being responsible for the creation of some “pleasant controversy” during in-class discussions.
Despite only being a student for a short time, Hersak said Nwonye made a definite impression, both on his fellow students and the faculty.
“He had an impact. He had a really big impact in the classroom,” she said. “He will be missed in the classroom. I know this for a fact.”
The deceased’s wife, Ugonna Nwonye described her husband as a righteous man.
“He was a righteous man” she said. “That means he was good in every aspect of life—-spiritual and physical.”
“He was a good father’. I ‘ve never seen his kind before….he was too good” she added.
Source: Calgary Herald/Calgary Police Service