NEWS

'It shouldn't have happened:' Consort shooting victim died defending family, say parents

10/04/2014 04:13 EDT | Updated 12/04/2014 05:59 EST
The family of one of the victims in Friday morning’s shooting in Consort, Alta., that left three people dead believes he died protecting himself.

Although RCMP have not released the names of the victims, CBC News confirmed that Shawn Lindsay, Joe Sylvester and Christine Clifford were the three people shot and killed on two rural properties on Friday.

Lindsay’s parents both told CBC News they believe he was killed defending himself and his family.  

“It shouldn’t have happened,” said his mother Carol Lindsay.

RCMP received a call about the incident around 3:30 a.m. on Friday. When officers arrived at a rural property near Consort, they discovered Lindsay and Sylvester, who had both been shot.

One of the men was dead at the scene, while the other was taken to hospital where he later died.

The officers then learned that a woman, presumed to be Clifford, had been shot by one of the men earlier that night.

RCMP are not looking for any suspects at this time. No officers were involved in the shooting.

“He loved life,” says father

The rural property where the two men were found shot was Lindsay’s home, according to his father, Bob Lindsay.

Lindsay said his son hired Sylvester to work on his oil company, S & R Oilfield, about three years ago. The family had maintained a good relationship with Sylvester, one that would eventually sour.

Shawn Lindsay would pick up Sylvester for work every day because he did not have a licence. On a few occasions, Lindsay’s father would drive Sylvester around himself.

Sylvester was due in court on Monday for the start of a disqualified-driving trial. He was also previously convicted of uttering threats, assault and mischief.

Lindsay said his son fired Sylvester from the oil company about two weeks ago. He said that after Sylvester was fired, the man became a different person.

Shawn Lindsay was not married, but had two young boys, a five-year-old and a 17-month old.

“He was one of the best guys you could ever meet,” Lindsay said about his son. “He loved life and worked hard.”

Clifford was believed to have been killed at a separate property before the two men died. 

She was widowed after her husband died suddenly in 2011. She left behind four daughters. 

Lacey Apt, who was best friends with one of Clifford’s daughters, says she was a good mother.

“Chris was a very loving woman and would do anything to make people smile,” Apt said.

Moving forward

The people in the small rural town, home to about 700, are still in shock after Friday’s events.

Most in Consort knew the victims personally, and RCMP say many have been affected by the loss.

Police had made victim services available for anyone in the town who needs it. A pastor from a local church also volunteered to speak with people who are having a difficult time coping with the shootings.

"We’re all just here for each other,” Apt said. “That’s what small towns do.”

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