VANCOUVER -- Friends have identified the man killed in Duncan, B.C. on Christmas Eve as a homeless person well known in the community.

Now, his girlfriend, who was also attacked on the night of his death, has suffered what friends and family call "a massive stroke" in hospital and is on life support.

A GoFundMe page set up to help friends and family "say goodbye" to Nellie Williams says she was "attacked on the street in Duncan, B.C., while trying to protect her boyfriend."

Police have not identified the male victim of the homicide, but friends told CTV News Vancouver Island his name was Francois Shurie, and they called him "Fran."

North Cowichan Duncan RCMP say they were called to the intersection of Trunk Road, Canada Avenue and Government Street just before 11 p.m. on Dec. 24 for reports of an assault.

When officers arrived, they found a man and a woman, both of whom were injured. The pair was taken to hospital, where the man died from his injuries, police said.

The Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit is investigating the incident, which they have referred to as an assault and a homicide. They have not said what types of injuries the victims sustained or whether a weapon was used.

According to the fundraising page, Williams was scheduled to have surgery on Friday, before suffering the stroke. The organizers describe her as a "daughter, sister, auntie" and "mother," and say the incident that led to her hospitalization was "a senseless act of violence."