Phone calls and e-mails of support are pouring in for a Tees farmer accused of shooting a suspected quad thief.
Brian Russell Knight, 38, faces a number of charges in connection with the early morning incident on March 26, including criminal negligence causing bodily harm and discharging a firearm.
It is alleged he chased down and shot one of three men he discovered in his farm yard early in the morning.
Brian Currie, a friend of Knight’s, said calls and e-mails have been coming in from across the country after a trust fund was set up for Knight.
“We have donations from lawyers, saying we have cheques in the mail.”
Dozens have asked how they can contribute.
“People are phoning my house from Nova Scotia,” said Currie, who is from Red Deer. “There’s been a lot of support.
“I think everybody is tired of the crime in our community and how (criminals) are dealt with down the road.
“At the end of the day, police catch these guys, take them to court, and then they’re let out.”
Friends of Knights set up the trust fund and a website at www.brianknightlegalfund.com, where a petition of support can be found.
E-mails can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Currie is uncertain how much has been collected so far; many people have cheques on the way.
Knight himself has only reluctantly become the centre of attention, he said.
His phone has been ringing off the hook with calls of support.
“He’s the type of guy who doesn’t want to be in the spotlight and doesn’t want help from anyone.
“He doesn’t want to take money from people,” he added.
“He understands why we’re doing this. We know he’s going to need help in the end. That’s why we’re doing it.”
Bashaw RCMP said the incident began about 1:40 a.m. when Knight spotted three men in his farm yard.
Two of the men took off in a truck and another hopped on Knight’s quad.
Police alleged the quad was forced off the road and two shots were fired as the man ran off.
The quad rider eventually returned and police said he took a truck before crashing it in a ditch.
He was taken to hospital and treated and released.
Knight will appear in Stettler provincial court on Thursday.
He has also been charged with pointing a firearm, possession of a weapon dangerous to the public, discharging a firearm, dangerous driving and possession of an unregistered firearm.
A 30-year-old man has been charged with theft. There is no word yet on charges against the other two men.