Community rallies to support family of NDG man fatally shot by police
A friend of 23-year-old Nicholas Gibbs described him as a caring father of four
Friends of a 23-year-old man who was shot and killed during an encounter with police in the Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough last week are raising funds to pay for his funeral.
Nicholas Gibbs was shot on Aug. 21 after police were called to the scene of a fight between two men.
Police tried to subdue Gibbs with a stun gun, but when that didn't work, at least one shot was fired. He was declared dead in hospital.
Tricia Lee Polcsak, a family friend of Gibb's common-law wife, described Gibbs as a caring father of four children, the youngest of whom is eight months old.
Polcsak said he was "quiet, shy, a little bit reserved," but also "polite and respectful."
She created a crowdfunding page to help the family pay for funeral expenses.
Polcsak said any leftover funds will go to buying school supplies for Gibbs' children.
"I feel horrible for the whole family," she told CBC News.
"The family is really nervous about the funeral.… So I just wanted to help them out."
Marlo Turner Ritchie, the former director of the NDG-based Head & Hands outreach organization, helped put together a vigil for Tuesday night. It was later cancelled.
"I hope that the family is surrounded by love and support from the community, specifically through their fundraising efforts for the funeral," she said.
Sharon Sweeney, an organizer with the NDG Community Council, told CBC News that many people in the community are feeling the same drive to help.
"I think people are feeling pretty hurt that a young man has lost his life," said Sweeney. "A lot of people are feeling pretty helpless."
Sweeney said she hopes their efforts will remind Gibbs' family that people are looking out for them.
"We just want the family to feel like they're cared for, and the community cares about what happened and that somebody lost his life."
With files from CBC's Isaac Olson and Valeria Cori-Manocchio