'The first one to step in': Friends remember man murdered in North Bay
SUDBURY -- North Bay police have identified the victim of the homicide on New Year's Day.
The investigation is continuing, but police say it was 29-year-old Jeff Twain of North Bay that was killed on Jan. 1.
Police said Twain was killed with an edged weapon on Jane Street after a verbal exchange with a 20-year-old man who had left a social gathering on Gormanville Road after assaulting two women. It is not known if Twain was also at the gathering where the two women were assaulted or if he knew them.
"The North Bay Police Service will continue to investigate this murder and dedicate all our resources necessary to support the prosecution of the person responsible for this horrendous crime in our community," North Bay Police Chief Scott Tod in a news release Tuesday morning. "We thank the members of the public and nearby neighbours who assisted the police, and other emergency services partners, responding to this crime for their support and willingness to assist in providing information."
Friends of Twain tell CTV News they are heartbroken over his death.
"Jeff was the type of friend who would help you no matter the circumstances, he genuinely cared so much about everyone who had the pleasure of meeting him, even if he didn't know you that well. If anyone was being done any kind of wrong, Jeff would always be the first one to step in and do something about it," said Jean-Michel Robichaud, Twain's friend of seven years. "He's an absolute gentleman and hero in so many peoples eyes."
Robichaud said Twain loved cars and was in the midst of buying a project car from him, which he said he will now give to the late man's brother in memory of him.
Two of Twain's female friends, Shannon Gilligan and Tianna Beer, created a GoFundMe campaign on Monday to help pay for his funeral. In less than 24 hours, they have raised over $3,000.
"Jeff was passionate about standing up for domestic violence and always ensured everyone's safety was at the forefront. He lived his life protecting those around him, and the night his life was taken from him, he took his last breaths doing just that, protecting others," Gilligan and Beer said on the GoFundMe page.
Beer calls Twain, a close friend of about 11 years, a courageous man who was never afraid to step in when he felt he was needed.
"He was honestly the biggest teddy bear. The person you could run to about anything at any time during the day or night," Beer said. "Whether he knew the women or not he would have protected them from abuse as Jeff was a heavy advocate against domestic abuse towards women."
Gilligan said she knew Twain for 10 years and remembers him as an absolute joy.
"It really didn't matter how long you knew Jeff, he made you comfortable without the label of time stuck to it," said Gilligan.
Ghislain Nsengiyumva, from Orleans, Ont., has been charged with second-degree murder in connection with the case and remains in custody.
"Officers have completed several interviews and the forensic identification unit is currently dealing with several relevant items that have been seized as a result of the investigation," police said.
It is not clear if the victim and the accused knew each other.
None of the allegations has been proven in court.