Guelph General Hospital

Guelph General Hospital is offering free counselling to anyone who witnessed the fatal police shooting in the hospitals Emergency Room. (Sam Blayney)

Brandon Scott Duncan was quiet and shy, and spent a lot of time in hospital recovering from surgeries, according to a Guelph man who knew him and helped him find places to live over the past 16 years.

Duncan, 36, was fatally shot by police in the emergency department of Guelph General Hospital on May 20. The province's Special Investigations Unit is investigating his death. The SIU said a post-mortem revealed Duncan had sustained multiple gunshot wounds, but details about what happened are still sparse. 

Jack Schweitzer, the manager of Fresh Start Housing Centre in Guelph, says Duncan was just 20 years old when they first met. 

"He was looking for housing, and was living in Fergus with his grandparents," said Schweiter. "I think he wanted to be closer to hospital. He felt isolated in Fergus and he wanted to be around people and meet some friends."

Schweitzer says Duncan spent a lot of time in the hospital due to his Crohn's disease, and had undergone operations.

"I was shocked, I couldn't believe it was him, because he was so quiet. I've never seen him being angry and he's really the opposite of aggressive," said Schweitzer. 

"He was quite a shy kid, quiet," said Schweitzer. "[He was] often saying things like, 'I want to meet friends or meet some other people,' and I had him at my place, when I first met him, the first year I believe. He was over a couple times."

Schweitzer said they had coffee together a few times, because Duncan needed someone to talk to.

"He had so many needs related to his physical illness. He also talked about depression and wanting to meet someone," said Schweitzer. "But it just seems like he never had any length of time where he could pursue a relationship. He was back in the hospital." 

Schweitzer said that Duncan's grandfather passed away a few years ago. 

"We took him to his grandmother's a couple times in Fergus. She was quite nice and supportive and then he lost that support a few years ago when she died," he said. "When he was homeless he could go back there even thought it wasn't ideal, but he had a place to go. It was supportive."