Aftermath of shooting leaves neighbour feeling shaken

Victim Services available to reach out to people in neighbourhood

By William McGinn

Bloody steps at 84 Peel St. show where recent shooting occurred. Photo: William McGinn.

Stephanie Ellis of Peel Street, says she and other families on the street feel shaken after a March 11 shooting sent a man to hospital with gunshots wounds.

According to Kawartha Lakes Police Service, around 11:13 a.m. that day, officers responded to reports of gunshots from the area of Peel Street and Albert Street North. A male victim was rushed to Ross Memorial Hospital with gunshot wounds and a 29-year-old Lindsay male was arrested, charged with attempt to commit murder, firearm use while committing an offence, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, knowledge of an unauthorized possession of a firearm and possession of a loaded prohibited or restricted firearm.

This investigation is ongoing, and a second suspect is said to be at large. The suspect in custody had a bail hearing the next day and he remains incarcerated.

A teacher at Parkview Public School, Ellis was at work when the shooting happened and was with her students under a “hold and secure” order until around 12:40 p.m. Ellis went home at 1 p.m. to find 84 Peel Street and the front lawn where the shooting took place sealed off with tape. Police were on the scene, investigating.

“I’m concerned about the safety of where I live,” she said. “I have a daughter who’s 10 and there’s nine kids who live within feet of where the shooting happened. I want to know how we move forward and ensure this doesn’t happen again.”

Police did canvass the neighbouring residents the day of the shooting, but Ellis thought more should have been done.

“I think my biggest concern with the aftermath of the shooting,” Ellis explained, “is that the people who needed to feel safe needed some reassurance, and it really needed to be more immediate and not having to call the police station several times to get that care.”

Ellis additionally told the Advocate she knows a lot of people in town who also feel there needs to be a new standard of support for the well-being of those who are the victims or witnesses to a crime. She was recently called by KLPS Chief Mark Mitchell to discuss her concerns, and she says she felt listened to and speaking to him alleviated some of her anxieties.

Mitchell has spoken with Kawartha/Haliburton Victim Services to come and speak to Ellis and other affected families, and Mitchell and Ellis are currently in contact to discuss solutions. Ellis has expressed concerns of the vetting process and attentiveness of the landlord of the property, who she has never been in contact with.

“Right now our focus is on the investigation,” said Mitchell, “but if there’s a way we can improve on our service delivery, we’re always open to that. I would encourage anybody who’s experiencing difficulty or conflicted feelings following that incident to contact us so we can arrange assistance for them as well.”

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