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'His family misses him terribly': Victim in Nanaimo killing identified


A man killed at a Nanaimo coffee shop this weekend has been identified by family members.

On Wednesday, family members said 79-year-old Eric Kutzner was the victim of the homicide at Buzz Coffee House in Nanaimo, where he was an employee, on Feb. 12.

"Eric was a vibrant member of society," the family said in a statement Wednesday.

"He volunteered and was a champion for the disabled in Creston, B.C., and for senior’s housing in Nanaimo," the family said. "Eric was a smiling face at the Buzz Coffee House every day in the morning, coming in to make sure we had fresh muffins and almond croissants. He truly cared about his family and friends and made new friends every day in his travels around Nanaimo. His family misses him terribly."

Mounties were called to the coffee shop on Saturday morning, and when officers arrived they found one man dead and took another man into custody.

On Monday, the suspect was identified as 29-year-old James Carey Turok, of Nanaimo.

Turok's mother, Vida Turok, told CTV News that she was shocked by the incident.

"I am in shock and at this point," she told CTV News on Tuesday. "I have no idea what actually happened. I'm still in communications with the RCMP and am in the dark as you are. All I know is James is in custody."

Turok added that she feels "tremendous sadness for everyone concerned."

"My heart aches for the family of the victim and my son," she said in a statement.

On Tuesday, Turok said she had not been able to speak with her son since his arrest.

Nanaimo RCMP say the incident appears to be random, and no previous connection has been made between Kutzner and Turok.

"This was a random incident with a tragic outcome," said Nanaimo RCMP Const. Gary O'Brien in a statement Sunday.

Images of Kutzner shared by family members show the man receiving an award from David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, in 2015. At the time, Kutzner was awarded a Sovereign's Medal for Volunteers for helping restore a property that houses and employs people with disabilities in Creston.


A previous version of this story said Kutzner received an Order of Canada award. In fact, he received a Sovereign's Medal for Volunteers. Top Stories

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