Former patient identified as suspect in chiropractor's shooting death
Published Saturday, March 18, 2017 9:01AM EDT
The chiropractor at a Burlington, Ont. clinic is dead and another man identified as the suspect is critically injured after a double shooting Thursday.
The dead man has been identified as Ferdinand “Fred” Mejilla, 50. He was the owner of Mejilla Family Chiropractic Clinic located in a Plains Road East plaza. He was rushed to hospital with gunshot wounds just after noon on Thursday but died a short time later.
Halton Regional police have identified Burlington resident David Williamson, 44, as the suspect. He is in critical condition in hospital with what police believe to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Police say he was a former patient of Mejilla.
At this point, no charges have been laid. Police say the investigation is ongoing.
Lisa Jane Emery, who said she frequents the clinic, told CTV Toronto that the suspect in the case is married to the receptionist.
“Dr. Fred was a very close friend, confidant, boss and he was my family,” Emery said. “He was such a generous man and he understands people’s situations. He would charge people by their case and what they could afford – if they couldn’t afford it he would work with them in other ways.”
Emery saw Mejilla as a patient for one year and worked for him for two years.
“He hired me in lieu of payment to help him at all of his festivals and be his assistant so that I could receive care and not have to worry about payment,” she said.
Emery said she was at the clinic on Thursday prior to the shooting. She said she hugged Mejilla and the receptionist before leaving and told them she would see them later.
Emery said that Dr. Mejilla leaves behind a girlfriend and five children between the ages of 19 and 11.
“They are surrounded by loved ones – they are very upset,” she said. “I don’t think it has really set in just yet for us – it’s a little surreal.”
“I got to spend a lot of time with his kids and got to know them and they are very special, fun and loving – they just loved their dad.”
Emery also said her “heart” is with the receptionist, who she has not heard from since the shooting.
Emery says Mejilla excelled at his work.
“His clinic was not a normal clinic, it was a family environment – patients would stay for comradery and friendship after their adjustments and hang out for laughs.”
A witness at the scene Thursday told CP24 that two victims were brought out of the clinic on stretchers shortly after emergency crews arrived. He said neither victim was moving.
Police were also seen towing a blue Audi S5 without a licence plate from the plaza’s parking lot, though they declined to comment on whether it was related to the incident.
With a report by CTV Toronto’s Tracy Tong