On a rainy Saturday in January, a family dentist from Westminster, Ontario, is still alive after being shot by a gunman in Riordon, Canada.
The suspect, a 34-year-old resident of the town, was shot dead.
In an emotional interview with CBC News on Thursday, Dr. Jason K. Zilczak said he is grateful for the outpouring of support for his family, and that his heart breaks for the community.
“I was lucky to be able to have such good friends that I’m so fortunate to have, and it breaks my heart that my friends and colleagues were the ones that were shot,” Zilczyk said.
“That is the most humbling thing that can happen to a doctor or a dentist or a family member.
I can’t thank them enough.”
Zilciks was at the funeral home of his family’s dentist, Dr., Dr. Charles K. Williams, who had been shot twice.
The family’s son, Christopher, who is 16, was at a nearby park when the shooting happened, and his father was shot and killed as he returned home.
“It’s been a very traumatic experience for us and our family,” Christopher Williams told CBC News.
“We’ve been through so much together and we’ve lost so much.
We have so many friends that are still alive, and they just want to get the word out.”
The doctor has had surgery to repair a bullet wound to his abdomen and is recovering from surgery on his right leg.
He said he has been told that the gunman has been placed on a life support machine and is expected to live for another month or so.
“The fact that he’s still alive at all is a testament to the courage of the community, and the people that came forward to help us with our search,” Dr. Zilskiak said.
His father was a member of the Riordan community, the youngest of eight children.
His mother was a nurse and he was a student at the University of British Columbia.
“He loved his family.
I think they’re so proud of him, and I think it’s a huge credit to the community that he is alive and well,” Christopher said.
The shooting happened just hours after another dentist, David Pritchard, was also shot to death in the city.
Pritchers mother, Sheryl Pritcher, was a dental student at Ryerson University in Ontario, and he had been at the family’s local clinic for a number of years.
“There’s a lot of sadness here today,” Pritches mother, Debbie Pritchery, told CBC Radio’s Edmonton AM.
“But the community is strong, and everybody is hurting.
It’s very hard for anybody to comprehend that there’s still so much grief and pain in this community.”
The family is hoping that their friends and neighbours will join them in their search for information about the suspect.
“They’re doing everything they can, to try and get any leads, to find anything that they can,” Dr Zilcyks mother said.
On Friday, the family is asking anyone with information about this shooting to call Crime Stoppers.
With files from The Canadian Press and Reuters