While the RCMP and BC Coroner’s Service have not confirmed the identity of a person found deceased in a Port Alberni apartment, friends and family are saying that the man was Terrance Mack of Toquaht First Nation.
“He was so very gentle, he did not deserve to go the way he did,” said Sandra Mack.
Sandra was at the apartment building a week after her first cousin was found. Other family members were there to demand justice for their relative. She said that her cousin, whom she called brother, died by homicide.
On Tuesday, May 4th, Port Alberni RCMP were called to an apartment building on the 3200 block of Third Avenue, for a possible sudden death.
There, they found a body in a unit on the third floor of the apartment building.
“The state the body was located in lead investigators to believe that the body had been there for some time, and was a victim of a homicide,” said the RCMP in a written statement.
Authorities believe the body was there for at least two weeks before police were called to investigate.
The Port Alberni RCMP General Investigation Section worked alongside the BC Coroner’s Service to identify the body.
Sandra said that identification was made on May 8 and the family was notified the same day.
Mack says the family is calling for justice for Terrance Mack, a father of two young children, who would have celebrated his 34th birthday on May 13.
She and other family members have made a connection between Terrance’s murder and the police shooting incident that took place in Hitacu on May 8. Sandra’s sister Allison Russ said the apartment Terrance was discovered in belonged to the woman shot in Hitacu.
The Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ government confirmed that on May 8 there was a police incident that culminated in a non-member being shot several times by police.
“On the early evening of Saturday, May 8, there was an altercation between a Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ male citizen and a non- Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ female,” they said in a written statement. The male was injured and required medical attention.
When asked what the connection was between Terrance and the female shot by police in Hitacu, Allison Russ said that she heard that there was love triangle and jealousy.
The Mack family said they have been informed that police were called to the Port Alberni apartment on several occasions, usually for noise complaints.
“It must have been the end of April when (the man injured in the Hitacu incident) was outside the apartment building with an axe, screaming at her,” said Russ. She said police were called. “And the next we hear, Terry is missing,” she added.
On the day his body was positively identified, a violent incident unfolded in Hitacu, 100 kilometres away. Police were summoned to Port Albion on a domestic violence call with an injured male.
“When police arrived on scene, the female was in possession of what was visually a weapon, RCMP opened fire, wounding the female,” stated the Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ government. “The weapon has been officially reported by the (IIO) Independent Investigations Office of the BC, as a replica gun.”
Both parties were transported to hospital by ambulance.
The Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ government said there have been ongoing community concerns related to the two individuals involved in the incident and that a stay-away order had been issued for the female.
While safety and security are of utmost importance for Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ leadership, they say they are concerned about this incident and other national incidents that have been in the media.
“Our thoughts are with Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ – Ucluelet First Nation, our neighboring nation, the individuals involved and all families affected,” said Charles McCarthy, President of Yucluthaht.
Through her tears, Allison Russ said in this case, the police shooting of the woman was not police brutality.
“I know our people are hurting, but this case is different,” she said.