By Peggy Revell on October 12, 2017.
UPDATE: Police on Wednesday morning revealed the death has been deemed suspicious and the body has been sent to Calgary for autopsy.
Hatters in a small corner of the South Flats are in shock following a sudden death that’s now under investigation by the Medicine Hat Police Service.
“A moment changes the whole block,” said Mill Street resident Joseph Dolan, who was the one to discover his neighbour’s body outside while taking his dog for a morning walk around 7 a.m. on Wednesday. “It’s kind of a shock.”
Dolan immediately recognized his friend — severely injured, and without a pulse— and was the one to call EMS services.
“He was a very caring man with a big heart,” said Dolan, fighting back tears. Dolan said he has known his neighbour for five years, likening him to a big brother. “He would give you the shirt off his back.”
Limited details were being released by police Wednesday about the man, who was in his mid-60s.
A statement Wednesday morning said they were investigating the sudden death, that Major Crimes Unit had been called in, and were requesting people to avoid the area.
The corner where Mill Street and Smelter Avenue meet was barricaded with yellow tape, with police remaining on site throughout the day, clad in white booties, gathering evidence and canvassing the neighbourhood for information.
Perched along the edge of an industrial area, and backing on to the Saratoga trails, the neighbourhood is a quiet one.
The owner of a construction shop across the intersection said he was surprised to find police investigating anything Wednesday morning.
“It’s a pretty good neighbourhood with everybody kind of looking in on each other,” said Darrell Hamell, owner of Certiroofs, Inc. “It’s kind of a shock.”
People know others in the neighbourhood, said Dolan, and who comes and goes. The area does see quite a bit of traffic from transient people though, he said.
Dolan said he last saw his neighbour at 7:30 p.m. the previous night, and the two said goodnight to each other.
“We already miss him. Our street lost a great gentleman.”
— with files from Collin Gallant
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