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Son's death stuns family


A young Ponoka area man who was stabbed at a Calgary house party early Saturday is being remembered for his love of family, sports and his kind, easy-going nature.

Brett Wiese, 20, died after being stabbed twice while at a party near the University of Calgary, where he was attending his third year at the Haskayne School of Business.

Calgary Police Service were called out to the 500 block of Brisebois Drive NW at about 3 a.m. They arrived to find two men suffering from stabbing wounds, one of them serious and one in life-threatening condition.

Both were taken to hospital and Wiese died shortly after. The other victim remains in serious condition in hospital, said police on Monday.

Police laid second-degree murder charges later Saturday against a 17-year-old youth. On Sunday, Mitchell William Harkes, 19, of Calgary was arrested and charged with second-degree murder, aggravated assault and four breaches of various court orders. The Calgary Police Service Homicide unit continues to investigate.

Reached at the family’s 80-acre property just west of Ponoka, his mother Brenda Wiese said the family has been torn apart by their loved one’s murder. Brett also leaves behind a father, Jody Wiese, and a 17-year-old sister Morgan.

Two Mounties from Ponoka RCMP, plus victims services volunteers, arrived later Saturday morning at the family home to say that Brett was the victim of homicide.

Brenda, her voice cracking with emotion, said they loved Brett “with every cell in our body and we are crushed.”

“We’re destroyed by this,” said Brenda. “We couldn’t believe it. Our life stopped, our life is forever changed without our Brett.”

Wiese described her son as a sensitive and kind young man, who was also very easy-going and fun-loving. He could socialize with young children as well as talk to elderly strangers on the street.

“He had a very welcoming smile,” said Wiese. “He didn’t have a mean bone in his body and he was deeply loved. We were a very close family.”

Brett grew up hanging around his cousins and he always made time to attend family events. The immediate family went to Hawaii for Christmas. Brett suggested they spend their next Christmas at home so they could be around all the relatives again.

Brett loved animals, having been raised on a farm with an array of dogs, cats and horses. Plus, he was passionate about sports.

Wiese said her son was a fantastic wakeboarder and snowboarder. He was a big fan of the National Football League’s Green Bay Packers and he treasured his favourite NHL team, Edmonton Oilers.

Last May, the family travelled to Los Angeles where they took in a Dodgers baseball game. He was a good golfer who loved to play with his dad, uncle, buddies or anyone else who wanted to head out on the course.

Brett loved to learn. He was big into cars and planned to be in the automotive industry when he graduated. The Wieses have a vehicle dealership in Ponoka.

Wiese said that her son had gone to a house where a few of his buddies were renting. As she understands it, the party was just about over and there were very few people left. Her son was in a room chatting. That’s when disaster struck, she said.

“There had been a previous incident in the night where some rowdy, uninvited people were kicked out and they came back,” said Wiese. “Police tell us that there were two vehicles that came up and at least two of them had knives ... he was a good kid who came from a very loving family. He was simply standing in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Wiese said the family is receiving an outpouring of community support. It’s a small town so Brett was well known.

He went to St. Augustine School in Ponoka and then on to Ponoka Composite High School, graduating with honours in 2010. Brett played hockey and soccer in town so many people knew him.

“The town is so small and we’re business people, so the community is grieving with us,” said Wiese.

ltester@reddeeradvocate.com

 

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