A man who died after police shot him multiple times was a "gentle guy," a neighbour says.
Hamilton police fired on and killed a man during a confrontation on Friday morning at Upper Wentworth Street and the Lincoln Alexander Parkway, just beside an onramp to highway’s eastbound lanes.
'I’m just stunned that anything could happen that would cause him to get shot.' —Kelly Fife, neighbour
The shooting took place just steps from the man’s home, which he shared with his girlfriend.
Kelly Fife, who lives in the same townhouse complex as the couple, said she wasn’t home when the incident took place. She said she was "shocked" when she learned Saturday morning that it was an acquaintance who had been killed.
"He was just a really, really gentle guy," she told CBC Hamilton on Saturday. "I’m just stunned that anything could happen that would cause him to get shot."
Fife said the man, who was in his 40s, was "friendly," coming over to her house to suggest that she close her garage door. He told her there had been thefts in the area and said he’d be "happy" to close it if he ever noticed it open for too long.
The victim’s partner is pregnant, Fife said, adding, "she just dropped by to tell me last week."
Fife’s townhome was one of about a half-dozen residences still behind police caution tape on Saturday afternoon. She said she and most her close neighbours are staying at home, trying to grapple with the recent developments.
"I don’t think anybody is coming out," Fife said.
The circumstances surrounding the man’s shooting death remain a mystery.
Around 9 a.m. on Friday, police say, they received a call about a wandering on the Linc. When officers arrived on scene, the suspect fled into a wooded area just south of the highway. Shortly after, there was a confrontation between the man and the police, which led to shots being fired.Related: Hamilton police shoot a man repeatedly, SIU investigating
In a release, the province’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) said: "As a result of an ensuing interaction between police and the man, the man sustained multiple gunshot wounds. He has been pronounced deceased."
SIU spokesperson Monica Hudon wouldn't say whether the man was armed or if he attacked an officer."That's part of the investigation," she said on Friday.
Brenda Falcone lives about a dozen houses down from where the shooting took place. She told CBC Hamilton on Friday that a friend of her daughter’s was sleeping over at house close to the wooded area when gunfire rang out.
"My daughter's friends heard an altercation, and then they heard gunshots. Quite a few gunshots, they said. It was very loud," Falcone said.
Road to re-open Saturday evening: police
The SIU assigned a nine-person team to the probe the death, including six investigators and three forensic specialists "to probe the circumstances of this incident," officials said in a release.
The unit is called in whenever police officers are involved in incidents where someone has been seriously injured, dies or alleges sexual assault.
As of 6 p.m. Saturday, authorities were still at the scene, police said. As a result, the southbound lanes of Upper Wentworth just south of the Linc remained closed, but are expected to re-open in the early evening.