Classmates fundraise for family of 'kind, beautiful soul' slain in random knife attack at LRT station

Classmates have started fundraising for the family of a Nicholas Nwoyne, a nursing student and father of three who was killed in a random knife attack by a stranger last week at a light-rail transit station in downtown Calgary.

'The world is missing out' with Nicholas Nwoyne's death, says classmate trying to help his wife, 3 children

Police at the City Hall C-Train station investigate the stabbing. (David Bell/CBC)

On a usual Tuesday afternoon, Lee Ann Prodahl would be meeting Nicholas Nwoyne — a classmate in the nursing program at Bow Valley College — to help him work on his English skills.

Instead, she is helping launch a GoFundMe fundraising page to benefit his family after Nwoyne was killed in a random knife attack at the City Hall LRT station on Friday.

"I'm very sad cause the world is missing out on such a kind, beautiful soul," she told CBC News.

Nicholas Nwonye, seen in an undated photo from the GoFundMe page started by his classmates at Bow Valley College, was fatally stabbed on June 2. (Submitted by family)

"His wife is a full-time mom, takes care of the children ... his children are so little and they are so cute, and I just feel so bad for them cause I don't know what's going to happen, so this GoFundMe page is an amazing idea."

The page had raised more than $5,000 toward the $150,000 goal in the first few hours.

Nwoyne's family moved to Calgary from Nigeria in 2015.

Members of Calgary Catholic Immigration Services helped the family settle when they first arrived, and are again reaching out, said spokesperson Fariborz Birjandian.

"We sent staff to their home to make sure they understand we are here for them," he said.

"It's hard to imagine what they would need now obviously, but ... we'll try to help them to at least ease the whole pain that they are going through."​

Keeton Michel Gagnon, 39, is charged with second-degree murder.

Gagnon has a long criminal history with police in British Columbia, dating back two decades.

He's a career criminal with dozens of convictions, including assault with a weapon, robbery, escaping custody, and many breaches.

Platform safety review 

Calgary Transit is reviewing its security protocols in the wake of the stabbing. Public safety superintendent Brian Whitelaw says two peace officers were on the platform that night.

"[They were] dealing with another incident closer to the opposite end of the platform, and that's got two of our officers tied up when the stabbing occurs," he said. 

Whitelaw said he suspects, in this particular incident, the presence of more officers would not have made a difference.

"Quite honestly, it's just that, we're there, we're visible to everybody around us, and the incident still happened. So I think if we had four, we had six officers on the platform … it still wouldn't have prevented what occurred," he said.

With files from Colleen Underwood