SASKATOON -- Kathy Cardinal said she was in disbelief after witnessing her spouse being shot in their backyard about three years ago.

Tyler Applegate was shot in the stomach at his home on July 22, 2017. The 27-year-old died in hospital weeks later.

Dallin Singharath is charged with second-degree murder in Applegate’s death. His trial began at Saskatoon’s Court of Queen’s Bench on Monday.

Cardinal was in a relationship with Applegate for about 14 years. The two lived in a duplex on 33rd Street West with their five children.

Applegate’s family, including about nine children, sat in the gallery listening to the court proceedings. Two children played cards in the front row as Cardinal testified.

On the morning of July 22, 2017, Cardinal told court she heard her brother-in-law — who lived in the other half of the duplex — arguing with someone who had “pissed” on their fence.

Shortly after Applegate woke up, he got involved in the confrontation, Cardinal testified. Applegate chased away the man who was urinating on their fence.

“I asked if he did anything, and he said he just scared him off,” Cardinal told court.

The two men went their separate ways and “it was all good,” she testified.

After the altercation, Cardinal said a truck drove by their home and parked in the alley near their backyard.

Cardinal, her brother-in-law and Applegate stood on the deck as several men got out of the truck.

“It looked like there could have been a fight,” Cardinal testified.

She said Applegate wrapped a chained dog leash around his arm and held their son’s small bike in front of him “for protection.”

Cardinal said the men walked towards the backyard. She didn’t see any weapons, but heard her brother-in-law yell, “gun.”

Shortly after, “I heard a gunshot ... The gun went off and they took off,” Cardinal told court.

Applegate, who was bleeding, was taken inside the home.

“I didn’t believe it,” Cardinal told court about the shooting.

She said she called 9-1-1 in a state of confusion. Police and paramedics showed up shortly after.

‘He was my role model’: Applegate’s niece

Prentice Sippola remembers Applegate, her uncle, as someone who was generous and level-headed.

“He took care of me, and his family,” Sippola told reporters outside Saskatoon’s Court of Queen’s Bench.

“He always guided me in the right ways. He was my role model growing up.“

Sippola said she was in disbelief when she learned Applegate was shot. She told reporters he wasn’t a threat to anybody.

“I didn’t really believe it ... He handles situations really responsible or respectably,” Sippola said.

The judge-alone trial is expected to continue all week.