B.C. mill shooter guilty of first-degree murder and attempted murder

FILE PHOTO - Members of the RCMP are seen outside the Western Forest Products mill in Nanaimo, B.C., on April 30, 2014.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

NANAIMO, B.C. - A British Columbia Supreme Court jury in Nanaimo has found Kevin Addison guilty of two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder after he shot four former co-workers.

On the morning of April 30, 2014, Addison, 50, used a sawed-off shotgun to shoot Michael Lunn as the man got out of his vehicle at the Western Forest Products mill.

Addison then went on to the mill's office where he confronted three other former co-workers. He shot Tony Sudar in the face and Fred McEachern and Earl Kelly in the back.

The trial heard McEachern managed to hit Addison over the head with a chair, but he didn't survive his injuries.

The jury deliberated for just over 24 hours before announcing its verdict on Wednesday.

Over the three-week trial, Crown lawyer Nic Barber argued revenge motivated Addison to carry out the attack against Western Forest Products after he was laid off in 2008 and not rehired two years later.

Barber told the jury the shooting was planned and deliberate, right down to where he hid the sawed-off shotgun — down a hole he cut in the pocket of his jeans.

The judge noted in his summation to the jury that Addison even filed off the barrel of the 12-gauge so it wouldn't scratch his leg as he walked to the mill.

Addison's defence lawyer John Gustafson asked the jury to find Addison guilty of manslaughter.

He told the trial that there was little doubt his client fired the gun that killed Michael Lunn and Fred McEachern, but that the attack wasn't premeditated or intentional and therefore didn't qualify as first-degree murder.

Gustafson said Addison's violent behaviour was out of character and the result of the severe depression he had been diagnosed with three months before the shooting.

Addison testified that he never intended to kill anyone, only to intimidate and cause injury, Baird summarized for the jurors.

Michael Lunn's wife, Marlene, cried as the verdict was read out to the court.

"All our families have been disrupted to say the least. But you know, we're strong and we're going to move forward. This is a great example of justice served and we're really happy with the verdicts," she later said outside the court.

Fred McEachern's wife, Lorraine, used a tissue to dab her eyes as she spoke with the media.

"I miss everything about him. I miss him being here and always being there for the family. We did everything together," she said.

"We'll be able to have peace."

The court will reconvene on Oct. 17 to fix a date for sentencing.

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