A friend of crack addicts partying in a downtown apartment testified Monday he saw Brandon Schell clutching a gun, moments after a shot was fired in the apartment where he was sleeping.
Robert Lessard is the first person in the apartment at 357 Seymour St. on Nov. 5 last year who identified Schell.
The Crown alleges Schell was a drug enforcer who was in the apartment in the early morning hours. He is charged with extortion, firing a prohibited weapon and aggravated assault.
The man who was shot through the shoulder, Arthur Burley, testified in the B.C. Supreme Court trial last week. Prior to Monday, neither Burley nor anyone else in the room at the time he was shot was able to identify the gunman as Schell.
Lessard testified he was sleeping on the floor of a bedroom when a gunshot woke him.
“Brandon was just standing in front of Art (Arthur Burley). He had a gun in his hand. He looked at Trevor and they walked out.”
Trevor Taylor pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice. He will be sentenced at a later date.
Lessard said he knew David Laboucane and others in the apartment through volunteering at New Life Mission. He said he was not a drug user, but would visit occasionally and sometimes sleep there.
“I’d seen him (Schell) several times before,” he said. “I’d probably seen him three times prior to that.”
When asked to describe him, Lessard looked at Schell in the defendant’s box, “saying Brandon’s sitting right there.”
He also identified him in a police photographic lineup.
Lessard was a combative witness at times, both with prosecution and defence. He said he only gave RCMP a statement after they arrested him on suspicion of firing the single shot.
“It didn’t scare me. I just got fed up,” he said.
He later told defence lawyer Sheldon Tate police “badgered him” until he gave a statement. But he didn’t recant anything he told police the day after the shooting.
“I told them exactly what was on my mind.”
The trial is expected to continue this week.