Violent stabbing attack at Windsor pharmacy leaves mother and young son shaken

A routine stop at a local pharmacy took a dramatic and traumatizing turn for a Windsor mother and her young son — who witnessed two men violently attack a third, just inside of the business.

Two men attacked a third, and all three slammed Nicole McMillan into a wall while her son watched

Nicole McMillan and her 13-year-old son Cameron Cadarette witnessed a violent attack at a local pharmacy. (Meg Roberts/CBC)

A routine stop at a local pharmacy took a dramatic and traumatizing turn for a Windsor mother and her young son who witnessed two men violently attack a third, just inside of the business. 

Nicole McMillan and her 13-year-old son Cameron Cadarette stopped at Hunter's Pharmacy on Tecumseh Road E to pick up prescriptions on their way home Tuesday. They saw three men standing outside looking a bit "antsy" so Cameron decided to wait in the locked car with his dog Vince.

"I wasn't in the pharmacy more than a minute and two men rushed in and jumped another man that's in there," said McMillan. 

The two men attacked and stabbed the other with what looked like surgical scissors, said McMillan. Then they ran toward her.

"One of the guys grabbed me and threw me into the wall and they all landed on top of me," she said. 

McMillan was worried for her son, who had a clear view of what was going on through the front window. 

Cameron sits with his dog Vince, who helps him during anxiety attacks. Vince was with Cameron the day of the attack. (Meg Roberts/CBC)

"I had also seen a weapon that had fallen on the ground. I scooped it up with my wallet and threw it in the pharmacy so no one would get hurt," she said.

The men fled the scene and McMillan ran out the back door to her son and to warn incoming shoppers. 

Cameron had already dialed 911 from the car. McMillan grabbed the phone to give police details on the vehicles and what had happened. 

Traumatic ordeal

Cameron has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder related to childhood trauma, and in the moments after the incident he was having a hard time coping. 

Watch Cameron describe what he saw:

Cameron Cadarette watched his mom become involved in an altercation between three men inside a Windsor pharmacy. 0:25

"He had saw what happened to me and was naturally shaken," said McMillan. "We went in and had a full blown anxiety attack and him and Vince were on the ground in the pharmacy at that point."

Cameron said his dog helps to calm him down during anxiety attacks. 

"I was just on the floor shaking. I wasn't really registering much. I did see a lot of blood from the guy — I was just on the floor with Vince and he helped me calm down," he said.

Cameron has been having trouble sleeping since the attack. He has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder related to childhood trauma. (Meg Roberts/CBC)

The police arrived shortly after, and Cameron said they were "very nice and very polite" to help and support him in those moments following what they witnessed.

McMillan said officers told her the suspects had known to each other. 

Bad dreams, night terrors

Cameron has been doing counselling to help him deal with what he saw.

"The last couple nights I haven't been able to sleep," he said. "When I do fall asleep I've been having nightmares and night terrors. It's been hard."

But Cameron said it could have been a lot worse.

The incident happened at Hunter's Pharmacy on Tecumseh Road E in Windsor. (Meg Roberts/CBC)

"No offence to the person who got hurt, but a lot more could have got hurt too," he said.

McMillan said her family will continue to shop at the pharmacy, but she has some advice for people. 

"Be vigilant about your surroundings," she said. "You can't predict what happens and it's not something you ever want to be in, but I think maybe if we would have been more aware we could have avoided the situation."

With files from Meg Roberts