Paramedic testifies shotgun victim's injuries were 'shocking'

·3 min read

When paramedic Chris Wall looked at the number of bullet holes in Mark Shatford's abdomen, he had trouble processing what he was seeing.

But it was dark on Duke Street West at 4:30 a.m. on Nov. 17, 2019, so Wall and his partner moved Shatford to the back of their well-lit ambulance.

Now that he could see more clearly, he realized there were even more holes in the 42-year-old victim's belly than he had first thought.

In fact, Wall told a jury Thursday that there were more bullet holes than he had ever seen.

"I kept trying to process what I was seeing," Wall testified.

Justin David Breau, 37, is charged with second-degree murder in Shatford's death.

Wall called described the victim's injuries as "shocking."

Graham Thompson/CBC
Graham Thompson/CBC

It looked as if someone had taken a permanent marker and peppered Shatford's midsection — from the bottom of his ribs to the top of his legs — with dots, Wall said.

He started to count them but gave up at 30 because there were so many.

A botched, middle-of-the-night home invasion led to the shooting, said Crown prosecutor Joanne Park in her opening remarks to the jury Wednesday.

She told them that Shatford and his girlfriend were in the bedroom of their apartment at 321 Duke Street West on Nov. 17, 2019, when masked intruders entered shortly after 4 a.m.

She said one of the men demanded money or "dope." As Shatford wrestled with one of the men inside the apartment, his girlfriend managed to pull down the man's mask and recognized Breau, someone she had known for years.

Shatford pursued the men out of the apartment.

Park told the court that Breau headed for a nearby vehicle, reached in, grabbed a shotgun and fired it at Shatford, who tried to ward off the shot with his hand.

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She says hundreds of pellets passed through Shatford's hand before hitting him in the abdomen.

He was rushed to the Saint John Regional Hospital and underwent emergency surgery, followed by several other operations to repair more than 100 holes in his intestines. Despite all of the medical interventions, Shatford died a month later.

Wall was the first witness to testify on Day 2 of the trial.

He said that when he and his partner, James Ryan, arrived at 321 Duke St. West at about 4:30 a.m., it was "essentially mass chaos."

He said police and fire officials were already there, along with a small crowd of people, some of them screaming, he said.

He said they were on scene for about 17 minutes and Shatford was conscious the entire time.

"He kept asking, 'Am I going to die? Please don't let me die,'" Wall testfied.

He said Shatford also asked several times "if his male genitals were still there." Wall said Shatford was very concerned about that.

Const. Tammy Spence testified that she arrived at the scene within a couple of minutes of the 911 emergency call at 4:26 a.m. She said she spoke with several of the people who lived in the house with Shatford, including his girlfriend and three of her children, aged 11, 17, and 18. All were in the house at the time of the incident.

Const. Lacey Johnson of the major crime unit testified she was the investigator on call the weekend Shatford was shot.

She said investigators knew that the suspects had fled the scene in a vehicle, possibly maroon coloured, heading east on Duke Street.

She said police officers went door-to-door in the neighbourhood, asking if anyone saw or heard anything. Officers also talked to businesses in the area and only found one with exterior cameras, but the footage didn't yield anything of any significance, Johnson said.

So far, the trial has heard from seven witnesses, all emergency personnel. Testimony will continue on Friday morning.