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Nanaimo man who was stabbed to death was ‘cheerful, gentle, innocent,’ says family

Mother of victim Fred Parsons issues statement a week after homicide at park
The family of fatal stabbing victim Fred Parsons released a statement after the 29-year-old’s death a week ago. (Photo submitted)

The man who was stabbed and killed at the playground at Maffeo Sutton Park over Labour Day weekend was an innocent victim of random violence, his family says.

A 29-year-old man died after the incident at 11:30 p.m. on Sept. 5 and family has now identified the victim as Fred Parsons of Nanaimo.

Fred’s mother, Cindy Parsons, issued a statement to media on Sunday, Sept. 11. She said her son, who was born with disabilities and had “unique wiring,” had walked to the park with his dog and two friends that night and stopped to play on the swings.

“Fred and his friends are kind, cheerful, gentle, innocent, respectful, harmless, hard-working young individuals who were victims of random violence,” Cindy said.

She said Fred had many exceptional and uncommon gifts and was much-loved, admired and respected, and had dreams, goals and passions. He believed in “fairness, kindness, justice, generosity and respect” and liked to help people.

Cindy’s statement thanked RCMP officers for their investigative work. She noted that the family is in the early stages of what will be a long healing journey.

“These are difficult days and we are fragile,” she said. “A bright light in our lives has been taken.”

She said although her son is the one who died, others, including his walking companions and their families, as well as Fred’s housemates and staff at his home, have been traumatized by the incident.

“We are grateful for all of this kindness and healing energy being sent our way,” his mother wrote. “Keep it coming. We are going to need it for a while.”

Mark Harrison, 19, has been charged with second-degree murder in relation to the fatal stabbing and remains in police custody with his next court appearance scheduled for Sept. 20.

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