Outside of a bank in downtown Campbell River lies a bouquet in memory of Dean Dool.
The 60-year-old man was assaulted out front of the Royal Bank on Shopper’s Row shortly before 11 p.m. on Oct. 15.
He required medical attention and was transported to a nearby hospital, where he died from his injuries early Saturday morning, according to Campbell River RCMP.
Dool was identified as the victim by his longtime friend, Tammy Chambers, who said he was a really nice guy who rode a Harley-Davidson motorcycle but had been homeless by choice in recent years.
George Clairr told CHEK he was among a handful of people who witnessed the assault on Dool from across the street. He says he doesn’t believe the attack was random.
“It was all drug-related. He owed money and he didn’t want to pay so they got into a conversation,” claims Clairr.
He also says the assailant was wearing a mask and that the attack happened quickly.
“What’s a 100 dollars? That makes you take someone’s life for a 100 dollars?” said Clairr.
Campbell River RCMP has not provided additional details surrounding the assault, but say they will be providing more information on Monday.
Sue Moen of Campbell River Coalition to End Homelessness, said no one should die on a street corner, regardless of who they are.
“No one should die on a street corner at any time of the day or the night and then to learn that he was a member of our population experiencing homelessness and then there are thoughts and rumours that that may have been the very reason that he died,” Moen said.
Meanwhile, Desiree Johnson says she’s been homeless for four years and was alarmed to hear about the assault, particularly in light of other recent attacks on the homeless.
“It’s pretty scary because it happened to me. I’m worried for my own safety let alone everyone down here,” said Desiree Johnson, who currently has no home.
Late last month, Campbell River RCMP said someone set the tent of a homeless man under a bridge on fire.
Johnson says she was also a victim later that same week in the downtown area.
“My tent was set on fire while I was in there and the only way I woke up was feeling the heat on my feet and apparently I was the third homeless person that’s happened to,” she said.