The man fatally shot by Nanaimo RCMP officers was a recovering meth addict who just a day before the shooting was released on bail after allegedly breaching probation.
Thursday the identity of the shooting victim was released, and with it a clearer picture of the man behind the shocking incident that’s left that community on edge.
Smiling on a beach in his Facebook profile, 49 year old Craig Andrew Ford looks like a man enjoying life. A far cry from the way he died on a Nanaimo street Tuesday.
“Screeching tires, the police yelling at someone to drop something and it was just that quick,” recalls witness Jamie Benko. “A cop came around the corner, shots fired. The man hit the ground and that was the end of it. It lasted literally ten seconds.”
Jamie Benko watched the police shooting on Country Club Drive Tuesday morning, along with he says at least a dozen other neighbours who were out on the street or in their yards at the time. “Cop came around the corner, the guy went at the car, boom, boom and it was done,” says Benko.
Minutes earlier police were called to the area after Ford was spotted waving a knife at Dairy Queen three blocks away.
“Like he was holding the handle and the blade was sticking up and he was walking around,” recalls DQ janitor David McLellan.
Ford was then followed to woods nearby, and officers yelled at him to drop his weapon.
“And rather than flee he ran at the cop car. ‘When you say he ran, did he run or did he walk?’ He had momentum to him. He wasn’t just walking. I believe the cop fired from his seat out the window.
Three witnesses tell CHEK News, the same story. So what led Craig Ford, a Nanaimo carpenter to this point?
It’s clear now the tragedy of the shooting, ends a troubled life that Ford described himself in his Facebook profile.
It reads: I am a HIV positive guy living in Nanaimo. I also struggle with series meth addiction, and a sex addiction and am in recovery.
The day before the shooting Craig Ford appeared in Nanaimo Court in handcuffs. He had been arrested on breaching probation for failing to stay off drugs. But was set free Monday, granted bail.
Neighbour Bernice Harding remembers seeing him on a nearby sidewalk.
“And the thing is I just saw the guy and he sort of looked like he was having personal issues inside himself, and I thought just back up let him go. Stay out of his way,” says Harding.
An option, the driver of this police cruiser didn’t feel they had. The Independent Investigations Office and Coroner’s Service continues to investigate what led up to Craig Ford’s death.