Police seek public’s help to locate fifth suspect in Quinte West homicide
QUINTE WEST, Ont. – Police have arrested four people and are looking for one more in connection with the death of a 17-year-old boy in Quinte West, near Belleville, Ont.
Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) said they responded to a report of a shooting at a residence on Loyalist Parkway around 4 a.m. on Sunday.
They found the teen, identified as Evan Freeman, suffering from gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police said they have now charged four suspects between the ages of 22 and 43 with first-degree murder. They are:
- James Hackett, 43, of Quinte West
- Shannon Hackett, 22, of Quinte West
- Joshua Hackett, 22, of Quinte West
- Brittany Hackett, 22, of Quinte West
Police said they are all related and lived at the same address where the shooting occurred.
An arrest warrant has been issued for another suspect, Kyle McQuaid, 29, of Quinte West, on the same charge.
Police said the investigation is still underway and they are asking anyone with information about McQuaid’s whereabouts or the incident to contact them or Crime Stoppers.
Motive and relationship unclear
Police have not released any details about the motive or the relationship between the suspects and the victim.
However, they said they believe the shooting was not random and there is no threat to public safety.
Freeman’s family and friends have expressed their shock and grief on social media, describing him as a kind, funny, and loving person.
“He was always smiling and laughing. He had a big heart and would do anything for anyone,” one friend wrote on Facebook.
Another friend said Freeman was passionate about music and sports, especially basketball.
“He was talented and had a bright future ahead of him. He didn’t deserve this,” the friend wrote.
Community mourns and calls for justice
The community of Quinte West, a city of about 43,000 people located about 175 kilometres east of Toronto, is mourning the loss of Freeman and calling for justice.
A candlelight vigil was held on Monday night at a park near the crime scene, where dozens of people gathered to pay their respects and share their memories of Freeman.
Some of them wore shirts with Freeman’s name and picture, while others held signs that read “Justice for Evan” and “Rest in Peace”.
A GoFundMe page has also been set up to help Freeman’s family with funeral expenses and other costs. As of Tuesday morning, it had raised more than $10,000 of its $15,000 goal.
The page said Freeman was the youngest of four siblings and had a “bright and beautiful soul”.
“He was taken from us too soon and we are all devastated by this senseless act of violence,” the page said.
The page also thanked the community for their support and prayers, and urged anyone with information to come forward.
“Please help us find justice for Evan and his family. He deserves nothing less,” the page said.