WATCH: Questions and grief are weighing heavy on Salt Spring Island, in the wake of the reported accidental shooting of a popular 16-year-old boy. RCMP say it happened at a house party early Sunday morning and while they investigate the circumstances, friends are remembering Alistair Hayne for the boy he was to so many: funny, kind and accepting of others. Skye Ryan on the impact his death is having on that community.
With a style all his own, Alistair Hayne was one of those rare people that friends say made others more comfortable in their own skin.
“I think we all honestly loved this kid to death,” Alicia Shourounis, one of Hayne’s friends, said.
“He was happiness.”
READ MORE: Young man dead in reported accidental shooting on Salt Spring Island
Salt Spring Island is grieving the boy, with many remembering him fondly. Hayne died on Sunday after a reported accidental shooting at a house party. Early Sunday morning, RCMP were called to a residence where they found Hayne had been shot. Five other youths were present. Hayne died in hospital hours later.
“All that we know for the time being is that it was accidental and that’s all that we can put, that’s all we can take from it and we can’t put the blame on some person right,” Julie McLean, Hayne’s friend, said.
Discussion about what happened at that house party is ongoing in the community. Meanwhile, those who knew Hayne and loved him are raising money on GoFundMe for the family.
“People are going to start partying smarter now and really paying attention to how they’re behaving what they’re doing, being more responsible,” Zeanna Trussler, Hayne’s friend, said.
Even in this tragedy, Hayne’s friends say he’s bringing people together, once more, in that way he always did.
“I don’t think his spirit will be forgotten here and all the happiness he brought to us all,” McLean said.