CORNER BROOK, N.L. — The morning after the relative tranquility of Carriage Lane was rocked by news of a fatal police shooting, it was Patricia Park’s anger that shattered the hush.
As a lone Royal Newfoundland Constabulary officer sat in a cruiser in the driveway of the home where a fellow officer killed the man the night before, Park pulled up in her car to voice her upset at Jorden McKay’s death.
Mr. McKay was a friend of her son’s.
Details of what transpired at around 11:30 p.m. the night before were scant, but Park was already blaming the police for what she felt was the needless death of a young man.
“No one will ever know what went wrong because these guys hide so much and no one sees it,” she said of the police. “Then, when someone loses their shit like I’m losing mine today, I’m the crazy one. I’m the one who needs the help because I’m speaking the truth and nothing but the truth.”
Park’s distrust of the justice system wasn’t helped by the fact her sister is Veronica Park, who died while incarcerated in a Nova Scotia prison in April 2015. Her family has claimed the Nova Institution for Women did not provide Veronica Park with adequate medical care before she died of complications from pneumonia, though the institution itself has said proper care was provided.
Park said she knew McKay since he was a boy and, even though he was no stranger to getting into trouble, she described him as a nice person.
“Like most young men, sometimes you get off to a wrong start in life, but you never give up hope,” she said. “My sister was an addict and she was 38 years old, but I always seen a light for my sister.”
Park said this incident is really bothering her because she knows it’s having a big impact on her son. She said the news of the death of her son’s buddy McKay is extra difficult to deal with a month away from Christmas.
“This really scares me,” she said. “If my son needed help, I would be scared to call the police. Obviously, I would think they would shoot him.
“They wouldn’t use pepper spray to try and calm him down and take him into custody. They would just shoot him and get it over with. They don’t give two shits what the family feels after the fact.”
Incident drew little attention from neighbours
Carriage Lane is a quiet subdivision of mostly young families. The Western Star spoke with some of the neighbours on the street Wednesday morning. Most declined to do an interview, but none of the people approached by the Western Star had heard a thing about what had transpired the night before.
Neil Fortune, who lives across the street and a couple of houses down, said he was up until around 12:30 a.m., but had no idea there was an incident so close to home until the following morning.
“It’s unsettling to think a situation like this would happen in a family neighborhood like ours,” said Fortune.
Fortune said he didn’t know who was living in the apartment of the home police had cordoned off with caution tape. He did say there had been police cars in that area fairly recently, but did not know if they had been at that particular residence.
Another neighbour across the street from the shooting who declined to give her name said she didn’t hear anything Tuesday night either. She didn’t know who lived there and had never noticed any concerning incidents previously.
A man whose backyard faces the rear area of the home where the shooting happened said he also didn’t find out there was an incident, let alone a serious one, until hearing about it on the news Wednesday morning.
Brushes with the law
Jorden McKay did have a criminal history, including outstanding issues before the courts.
- 2018: Sentenced to serve 60 days in prison and 12 months of probation for two breaches of a probation order
- 2017: Sentenced to serve two days in jail, time served, and 12 months of probation for a breach of probation and breach of an undertaking.
- 2016: Sentenced to six days in jail, time served, and two years of probation for assault, uttering threats and two counts each of breaching probation and two court orders. He was also ordered to provide a sample of his DNA and subjected to a firearms prohibition for five years.
- 2015: Given a suspended sentence with 12 months of probation and a $150 compensation order for breaching probation.
- 2013: Sentenced to four months of house arrest and 14 months of probation for assault, assault with a weapon and being unlawfully in a dwelling house.
Mr. McKay also had nine outstanding charges before the court. He had a one-day trial set for Jan. 7 on charges of assault and three probation breaches.
The remaining charges against him, including assault, mischief, breach of an undertaking and two counts of breaching probation, were all supposed to be called Jan. 7 also.