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Family of Meadow Lake teen say neighbourhood kids told them of shooting death
Published Monday, November 13, 2017 3:46PM CST
Last Updated Wednesday, November 15, 2017 1:27PM CST
Family of a 17-year-old boy killed in a shooting in Meadow Lake say neighbourhood kids informed them of the death.
“They were notified at around 11:30 (a.m.) by some kids off the street that they’d lost their grandson and their son,” said Charlene Martin, the sister of Kegan McCallum’s legal guardian and grandmother. “No RCMP. Nobody ever came to the house and notified them.”
Several members of McCallum’s family confirmed to CTV News his identity as the teenager who died Monday morning in the west-central Saskatchewan city.
RCMP have so far provided few details to media on the shooting, but say officers received a call around 10:30 a.m. Monday about an injured boy suffering from suspected gunshot wounds at a home. The teen was pronounced dead in hospital, according to police.
Martin as well as McCallum’s mother and sister claimed Tuesday afternoon they’d yet to see the body. They also said RCMP had yet to notify them of the death.
Mounties acknowledged in a statement released late Tuesday afternoon the family may have been notified by other sources, but also said officers did speak with the family.
“Sometimes in small communities, news can travel very quickly and unfortunately at times, we are unable to notify the family about the incident as quickly as other sources. One of our priorities is to advise the family as quickly as possible and in this circumstance I can confirm that an RCMP member spoke with the family shortly after the victim was pronounced deceased,” the statement from Staff Sgt. Rob Embree said.
“In situations like this, events can unfold quickly and dynamically. Our primary concern is public safety and with this specific situation, our resources were deployed to ensure safety as we were seeking a person of interest.”
Mounties are searching for a person of interest in the case. The male — police have yet to release his age — is described as five feet eight inches tall and 102 pounds. He was wearing a grey Burton-brand hat, a red hoodie with black writing, and black Adidas track pants. He is considered armed and dangerous and RCMP warn he should not be approached.
“I hope they can catch this person. My boy was innocent,” McCallum’s mother, Leianne Barthel, said. “I just miss him so much.”
McCallum’s mother and grandmother had yet to see the body, which Martin said has been sent to Saskatoon, as of Tuesday afternoon. Family members rushed to the hospital after they were told of the death, but were not allowed to see him, according to Martin. They were eventually shown the body bag, but the bag was never opened.
“She still hasn’t seen her son, and he’s shipped to Saskatoon,” Martin said. “My sister still hasn’t seen her grandson.”
The Prairie North Health Region, which issued a statement in response to a CTV News inquiry, did not address specifics of the case or allegations McCallum’s family members had yet to see the body.
“Our condolences to the family and friends who are deeply affected by this tragic incident. We will not comment further due to patient privacy and the current criminal investigation,” the statement read.
McCallum’s family said he had been scared to leave his house since an incident in the summer when he was given bad drugs, left on his front lawn and nearly died.
The teen spoke with a soft voice and was always willing to help anyone, according to his cousin, Leah Cardinal.
“Kegan had the sweetest, softest voice. He was the nicest person ever, and such a down-to-earth guy,” Cardinal said. “It’s really sad to see him go because he was such a wonderful person. He didn’t deserve this.”
RCMP major crimes and forensic identification units, as well as the coroner’s office, are investigating the death.