100 people attend vigil for Beau Baker, man fatally shot in police incident
About 100 friends, family, and neighbours attended a candlelight vigil on Monday night to honour Beau Baker, a 20-year-old man who was fatally shot outside his apartment building at 77 Brybeck Crescent in Kitchener last Thursday.
According to the Special Investigations Unit, Ontario's police watchdog, Waterloo Regional Police were called to the address just after 9:00 p.m. They said there was an "interaction" between police and Baker, who was shot and later pronounced dead at a hospital.
At the vigil Monday night, close friends and family remembered Baker as a generous man. One of his favourite songs, "Build Me Up Buttercup" by The Foundations, was played from a car stereo in his memory.
"He was kind. Fun-loving. He'd give the shirt off his back. He had a huge heart. " said Shy Leslie, a friend who describes Baker as family. "This was horrible he had to go this way. He didn't deserve it. That's for sure."
Christina Paschert lives in the apartment building next door to 77 Brybeck Crescent and was sitting on the balcony when shots rang out. She said she heard police officers repeatedly shouting "drop it," while a female neighbour yelled "don't".
A week earlier, Paschert remembers seeing Baker dancing outside, shirtless, with his friends.
"He was having a great time. He said it was beautiful outside and he wanted to enjoy the sunshine," said Paschert. "[I'm] shook up. Pretty shook up."
Paschert added that police are often in the neighbourhood.
Sarah Werhof also lives on Brybeck Crescent. She said her daughter has not been able to sleep since the incident and her son does not like to leave the house.
"Every time they see a cop, they panic. They get scared now," said Werhof.
The Special Investigations Unit have five investigators and three forensic investigators probing the "circumstances of this incident."
As of Friday, one officer had been designated as the subject of the investigation and seven others as witnesses. Few other details of the incident have been released.
The SIU is automatically called in to review cases involving police where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault.