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Family identify victim of homicide at Nanaimo coffee shop last weekend

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Family members have identified the victim of a homicide at a Nanaimo coffee shop that occurred last weekend.

Nanaimo RCMP released the name on behalf of the family at their request and he has been identified as 79-year-old Eric Kutzner.

Kutzner was working at Buzz Coffee House on the morning of Saturday, February 12th when RCMP said they were called to do a well-being check on him.

Officers arrived at the coffee shop on Rutherford Road in Nanaimo around 9 a.m. and found Kutzner deceased. There was also another man on scene, who was arrested without incident.

On Sunday, Nanaimo RCMP identified the suspect as 29-year-old James Turok of Nanaimo. He has been charged with one count of 2nd degree murder in the case.

Cst. Gary O’Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP said investigators have not established any clear link between the two people involved.

“Investigators are confident that based on the evidence collected to date, there was no connection between the deceased and the individual arrested at the scene.”

“This was a random incident with a tragic outcome.”

Nanaimo RCMP issued a statement on behalf of Kutzner’s family, who said he volunteered and advocated for people with disabilities in Creston, before moving to Nanaimo.

“Eric was a vibrant member of society. He volunteered and was a champion for the disabled in Creston BC and for senior’s housing in Nanaimo BC,” Kutzner’s family said.

“Eric was a smiling face at the Buzz Coffeehouse every day in the morning, coming in to make sure we had fresh muffins and almond croissants. He truly cared about his family and friends and made new friends everyday in his travels around Nanaimo. His family misses him terribly.”

Turok remains police custody to await his next court appearance.

According to RCMP, the investigation is ongoing and no further information will be released.

Employees at Buzz Coffeehouse have started an online fundraising campaign to support the family-owned business through the closure and subsequent steps forward.

As of this publication, nearly $7,500 has been raised.

“The Buzz is a family owned business and the family has lost a very special family member, without any way to prepare for such a horrible event the Buzz family will need help to cover some costs of several things they are now left with,” the fundraiser said.

“Insurance only does so much, and we know this incredible family doesn’t deserve to worry during a time of mourning.”

“We lost one of our dear co workers in a horrible incident that no one could have planned and occurred inside of the Cafe.”

The family requested privacy as they deal with the aftermath of Kutzner’s death.

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Victoria Buzz Staffhttps://www.victoriabuzz.com
Your inside source for Greater Victoria happenings. Established in 2012.

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