Nova Scotia

'Everybody loved him': Rickey Walker's nephew speaks about his uncle's shooting death

Brandon Walker talks about his uncle in the area where he was gunned down, and hopes a $150,000 reward for information will push someone to break their silence about the slaying of his uncle, who was gunned down in September.

Province offers $150K reward as police stumped about Halifax's 9th homicide of 2016

Brandon Walker, a community worker, wants his uncle to be remembered positively. (Elizabeth Chiu/CBC)

Rickey Walker saved a man from drowning, was well-liked by co-workers and was the comedian in his close-knit family. 

Who would kill him? 

That question has stumped Halifax Regional Police since the shooting death of the Dartmouth man early in the morning on Sept. 1. Police believe there may be witnesses, prompting the province to offer a $150,000 reward for information leading to a conviction. 

Walker's nephew and godson Brandon Walker hopes the offer of cash brings closure.

'It never gets easy'

"You've just got to hold on to the hope that one day that person responsible would be found and brought to justice," he said. 

This week, he spoke to CBC News as he looked around the north-end Dartmouth schoolyard where his uncle called 911 himself to report he'd been shot just before 3 a.m. that night. Behind the school, there's an unlit walking path connecting Highfield Park Drive, where his uncle lived, to a parking circle that was searched by police in the aftermath.

Family and friends say Rickey Walker was a great guy. (Submitted by Brandon Walker)

Walker tried not to think about the violence as he gathered his thoughts.

"It never gets easy," he said. "To not have him here now is heartbreaking." 

Saved a man

Rickey Walker, 48, was a call-centre employee. He brought his family together with home-cooked meals, and cracked them up with well-timed jokes.

Just blocks from where he was gunned down, he had saved a life. In 1998, Walker rescued a man drowning in Albro Lake and received a St. John Ambulance award for his selfless act.

Rickey Walker was Brandon's uncle, godfather and a best friend. (Submitted by Brandon Walker)

He was proud to call this tight-knit, working class neighbourhood home.

"He was just an overall great guy, whether it was to our family, very pleasant to his co-workers, everybody loved him," Brandon Walker said.

Motive unknown

Police have said little about the case, including whether it was a random act.

Walker doesn't believe his uncle was targeted and wonders if he had been on a late-night coffee run.

Rickey Walker received an award for rescuing a drowning man in 1998. (Submitted by Brandon Walker)

"There wasn't any group that I could think of or an individual that felt hatred towards Rickey," said Walker, a  26-year-old community worker.

"For somebody that didn't drink, didn't do drugs, it's kind of hard to think of anyone that would want to do that to my uncle," he said.

Speaking up

The quest for justice is why Walker is sharing his story even though some family members would rather he stay silent. He says somebody had to speak up — and hopes that will push someone with information to break their silence.

"There's an uncle of mine resting, hopefully, peacefully, knowing the person responsible is going to be found," he said.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Elizabeth Chiu is a reporter in Nova Scotia and hosts Atlantic Tonight on Saturdays at 7 p.m., 7:30 p.m. in Newfoundland. If you have a story idea for her, contact her at elizabeth.chiu@cbc.ca.

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