Duhre murder trial: Former Quirks and Quarks host describes Wall Centre shooting

Jay Ingram, a former host of CBC Radio’s Quarks and Quarks science program, testified at the trial of three man charged in a fatal shooting.

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Jay Ingram, the former host of CBC Radio’s Quirks and Quarks science program and a noted author, testified Wednesday about his observations at the scene of a fatal shooting at Vancouver’s Sheraton Wall Centre.

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He gave his evidence at the trial of three men charged in connection with the murder of Sandip Duhre on Jan. 17, 2012.

Ingram told a B.C. Supreme Court jury that he had been attending a conference and was staying at the hotel when he met some friends in the Bar One lounge in the hotel.

He said he heard a series of popping sounds coming from his right, toward a nearby cafe, and he and his friends turned to look.

“A man came sprinting out of the cafe. He was moving really fast. He ran right across in front of us, so between the lounge and the escalator. He had a gun in his hand.”

The gunman headed straight for the revolving door, paused at the revolving door, yelling something which they couldn’t hear, and then exited through the swinging door and disappeared, said the Crown witness.

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After he saw the man leave the Wall Centre, he thought there might be somebody wounded and needing help, he said.

“So I got up from the table and I walked over to the entrance of the cafe. I didn’t go right into it. I saw a man slumped over a table. There was blood on the tablecloth and then I realized that probably wasn’t a good place for me to be, the lone person at what appeared to be a crime scene.”

Ingram said he asked two nearby women whether anyone had called 911 and one of them responded by saying she had called police.

He described the gunman as being dark-skinned, athletic and slim, wearing some kind of headgear, possibly a toque.

Brian Sykes was also a guest at the hotel and attending the same conference as Ingram when he met some friends in the lounge prior to the shooting.

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The university professor told the jury that some live music had just started when someone began shooting nearby.

“But I had no sightline to anything that happened. I saw the shooting very clearly, but I didn’t … see the person being shot, or anything that would be horrific for me to see.”

Sykes said the person doing the shooting turned, walked toward him and walked past him and out of the lobby and glass doors.

Then a waitress came “screaming” out of the cafe.

“She’d clearly seen this happen. She said, ‘He shot a man, he shot a man.’ And she was just ballistic. So we ran, for some reason we all ran, including the bartender, to where the washroom area was, possibly looking for some safety.

“But of course the person had already left, so we came back out of there and phoned 911, to the police.”

Dean Michael Wiwchar and Rabih “Robby” Alkhalil have pleaded not guilty to the first-degree murder of Duhre. Larry Ronald Amero has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to murder Duhre. The three accused are jointly charged with conspiracy to murder a second man, Sukhveer Dhak.

The trial is expected to continue Thursday.

kfraser@postmedia.com

Twitter: @keithrfraser

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