Nfld. & Labrador

'We will be killed by that man': Couple fearful after Hatchet Cove shooter granted bail

Two men say they found themselves staring down the barrel of a shotgun on the weekend, alleging that a man made a homophobic slur before pulling the trigger.

Dispute over cabin turns criminal, as police lay charges against 48-year-old man

Edison Avery, left, and Chris Neal say they were on the other end of a shotgun on Sunday, when Avery's brother-in-law fired two shots in their direction. (Eddy Kennedy/CBC)

When Edison Avery heard a truck crawling up the driveway of his secluded cabin in Hatchet Cove, a flood of fear and anger set in.

Avery said he knew who was coming — his brother-in-law, Harvey Murlin Price, a man he alleges made death threats against him a month earlier.

"He told me straight up that he would make sure that if I ever entered Hatchet Cove again that he was going to kill me," Avery said.

None of the allegations laid out in this story have been tested in court.

'Duck, duck, duck'

Ever since separating from his wife, Avery has been in a tangled dispute over who should own the family cabin.

A separate feud began with Price — a feud that is now the subject of a criminal investigation. Police say Price fired two shots on Sunday.

After seeing the truck that day, Avery walked down off the front step, leaving his partner Chris Neal behind at the front door.

Avery, right, built this cabin in Hatchet Cove, where he alleges his brother-in-law shot at him on Sunday. (Eddy Kennedy/CBC)

Avery said he confronted Price in the driveway and told him to leave. That's when Avery said he noticed the long-barrelled shotgun sitting on the backseat.

"He jumped out of the truck and I just sung out, 'Duck, duck, duck,' and we ducked and he took two shots at us."

Avery said the shots went over their heads as they hit the dirt. A hunter himself, he said he knew the gun only held two shots.

Couple recounts being shot at

3 years ago
2:06
Edison Avery says his estranged wife's brother showed up at his cabin with a long-barrelled shotgun and fired two shots and him and his partner, Chris Neal. 2:06

Avery and Neal said they picked up rocks and threatened to attack Price. They said he jumped back into his pickup truck and drove away.

"We couldn't give him an opportunity to load the gun again," Avery said.

Man used gay slur, couple alleges

They called 911 and sought refuge at a nearby bed and breakfast. Minutes later, the small community of less than 150 people was flooded with police officers.

By nightfall, the 48-year-old Price was in custody. He's charged with discharging a firearm with intent, pointing a firearm, uttering threats and possession of a weapon for dangerous purpose.

Price was granted bail on Tuesday after a hearing in a Clarenville courtroom. Avery and Neal said they are speaking out now to protect themselves.

It's all because of our sexuality more than anything.- Edison Avery

"I am confident that if something isn't done with him then we will die," Avery said. "We will be killed by that man."

Despite one of the charges carrying a minimum sentence of four years in prison upon conviction, the couple doesn't think it's enough.

The quiet community of Hatchet Cove sits on an inlet on the western side of Trinity Bay. (Eddy Kennedy/CBC)

The two men said Price used the word "faggot," both over the phone and while pointing the gun on Sunday.

"We go to the police every time we're threatened, and yes, they take the statements, they write them down, but there's never any mention that this is a gay hate crime."

While the dispute with his estranged wife is a civil matter, Avery said Price has no reason to be involved — it's not his cabin, it's not his land and it's not his marriage.

"This man has no reason to want me dead," he said. "It's all because of our sexuality more than anything."

Police confirmed no hate-related charges have been laid, but say the investigation is still ongoing.

CBC News tried to reach Price for comment by contacting family members. Those attempts were not successful.

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