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Members of the RCMP are seen outside the Western Forest Products mill in Nanaimo, B.C., on April 30, 2014. Kevin Addison, a former mill employee, was arrested at the mill office minutes after police received calls about an active shooter at the site. (JONATHAN HAYWARD/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Members of the RCMP are seen outside the Western Forest Products mill in Nanaimo, B.C., on April 30, 2014. Kevin Addison, a former mill employee, was arrested at the mill office minutes after police received calls about an active shooter at the site. (JONATHAN HAYWARD/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Veteran security guard testifies in Nanaimo, B.C. mill shooting trial Add to ...

A veteran security guard testified he watched a zombie-like man walking toward another man in the parking lot of a Vancouver Island sawmill with his right arm outstretched before hearing an explosion.

Michael Lauder told a B.C. Supreme Court trial in Nanaimo that he ducked out of sight after hearing the blast, and seconds later emerged to find Michael Lunn on his back, motionless and suffering from a serious wound to his right side and the back of his head.

“I knew from looking at him that he had passed,” said Mr. Lauder, a 16-year employee of the Western Forests Products mill where the shooting took place. “He was face up with his eyes open. It appeared that there had been damage to the back of his head.”

Kevin Addison, 49, is on trial facing two first-degree murder charges and two charges of attempted murder.

Mill employees Fred McEachern and Mr. Lunn died in the April 30, 2014, shooting rampage, while Tony Sudar and Earl Kelly were shot but survived.

Mr. Addison, a former mill employee, was arrested at the mill office minutes after police received calls about an active shooter at the site.

Mr. Lauder told the jury that he saw a man approach Mr. Lunn from behind.

“It seemed like a fraction of a second from the time I noticed the individual from the corner of my eye,” he said. “There was a bang and it was over.”

Under cross-examination by defence lawyer John Gustafson, Mr. Lauder testified he didn’t recognize the man but described him as “frozen. His face was frozen, expressionless. He seemed quite rigid. I said zombie from the standpoint the individual seemed quite focused.”

Mr. Lauder later agreed he originally told police on the day of the shooting the man “was like a God-damned zombie.”

Mr. Lauder testified he ran from his security office to the company office to warn others, but when he arrived, mill manager Andrew Vanger had an individual pinned to the ground and yelled, “call 911, call 911.”

The jury also heard testimony from an RCMP officer who responded to an active shooter call at the mill and found blood, bodies and an emotionless man sitting on top of a sawed-off shotgun in the company office.

Nanaimo RCMP Constable David Buchanan said it took him less than three minutes to arrive at the mill on Nanaimo’s waterfront. The shooting had already stopped and shortly afterward Mr. Addison was arrested without resistance, Buchanan said.

“He was emotionless, quiet,” Constable Buchanan said. “He was able to get up on his own accord.”

He said the only emotion shown by Mr. Addison was about 30 minutes later at the Nanaimo RCMP office when he threw his head back once and made a “grimace.”

Constable Buchanan, the second officer at the scene, said he was expecting “chaos.”

He said he stopped at the mill parking lot where he saw a man on the ground receiving aid. There was blood pooling on the ground, Constable Buchanan said.

Crown prosecutors said the trial will hear evidence that Mr. Lunn was hit by a single shotgun blast to his back right arm moments after stepping out of his vehicle.

Constable Buchanan testified he then walked into the dark company office knowing his colleague Constable Paul Minkley was already inside.

He said he helped Constable Minkley put handcuffs on Mr. Addison and walked him to his police vehicle.

The trial has heard that Mr. McEachern and Mr. Kelly were shot in the back and Mr. Sudar in the face.

The Crown said the trial will hear that Mr. McEachern, who later died, and two other employees, Ed Good and Mr. Vanger, were able to subdue Mr. Addison in the office.

The trial is scheduled to last for about three weeks.

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FROM THE ARCHIVES

Nanaimo residents try to make sense of sawmill shooting (The Globe and Mail)

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