A funeral has been held for the man killed in a shooting at the South Red Deer Walmart.
Hundreds attended the service honouring the life of C.J. “Jim” Williams at the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Red Deer Saturday afternoon.
“His kind, open personality would let him start conversations with total strangers and these conversations could last two to three hours,” the memorial service program said.
“If he could help his family, he would do anything possible. Jim will be dearly missed by all family members and everyone who knew him.”
The service featured moments of prayer, song and a video tribute, which displayed photos of Williams’s life with various songs playing, including Convoy by C.W. McCall and See You Again by Wiz Khalifa.
Williams’s obituary says he “will be lovingly remembered by his wife Roxine; son Bill; daughter Dallas; three grandchildren; three great grandchildren; mother Betty; sister Donna and brother David.”
Williams was born March 24, 1950 in Prince Albert, Sask. His family relocated to Medicine Hat when he was eight and at 17, his family moved to Lethbridge, where he finished high school.
He began working as a truck driver at 18.
Williams overcame a 1991 propane explosion that put him in a coma for three months and burned over 84 per cent of his body. He had to retire from driving trucks after being burned.
In a recent interview, his widow Roxine said her husband had gone inside the Red Deer Walmart on Dec. 20 to pick up deodorant while she waited in the car.
“I was sitting in the car and reading my book and he came back and knocked on the window, so I unlocked the door and he opened it and then he slammed it shut and said, ‘Stay there,”’ Roxine said just days after her husband’s death.
At that point, Williams said she saw her husband backing towards their vehicle’s mirror, with another man in a hoodie and black cloth covering the bottom half of his face — carrying a gun.
“I heard a pop and then Jim was backing up and I heard another pop,” said Williams. “Then the guy took off running and Jim took off after him and that’s the last I saw of my husband.”
Chase Freed, 18, faces charges that include second-degree murder and theft of a vehicle, while Crystal Maurice, 30, faces charges that include accessory after the fact to the death and theft of a vehicle.
Police have said there was an altercation when Williams was approached by a suspect he didn’t know. They said he was shot and the suspect fled in a stolen vehicle driven by a woman.
The 69-year-old was rushed in critical condition to hospital, where he died.
–With files from The Canadian Press