Thomas Chan murder trial: Police describe chaos at scene of Peterborough doctor’s home
“I love you guys so much. I love you guys so much.”
That statement was heard in a Peterborough Superior Courthouse as a video depicting the events of Dec. 28, 2015, inside a Haggis Drive home played out. The images were taken from a Nest camera set-up inside the living room of Dr. Andrew Chan, whose body was discovered by police responding to a 911 call.
The video shows a young man pacing back and forth inside the home. He moves to a back room. He’s carrying something in his hand. There are sounds of a struggle, and incoherent screaming.
A few moments go by, and everything goes quiet. The young man appears to sit down for a moment, leaning against a wall.
Then the doorbell starts ringing, and someone can be heard yelling, “Police! Open the door!”
The man moves off screen. Someone starts yelling, “This is holy ground!,” a statement that’s followed by the sound of police ordering someone to the ground.
The entire video lasts about 25 minutes.
Dr. Chan’s son, 21-year-old Thomas Chan, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, attempted murder and aggravated assault. His trial began Monday.
Previous witnesses have testified that Chan and his friends were hanging out earlier that evening and consumed psilocybin, more commonly known as magic mushrooms. Chan’s friends testified that he began acting strangely hours after eating the mushrooms.
The first police officers to respond to the 911 call took the stand on Friday.
Det. Const. Ian Maxwell testified that he was one of three officers initially called to Haggis Drive. A woman who called 911 said she had been stabbed. A man could be heard yelling in the background during the call.
Maxwell told court he circled to the back of the house as the two other officers tried to force their way through the front door. Not seeing anything, Maxwell said he heard the officers suddenly yell, “Drop the knife, drop the knife!”
Running back to the front of the house, Maxwell said he saw a man on the ground, the officers struggling to put him in handcuffs. Maxwell pushed past them and headed into the house.
He testified he found the body of Dr. Andrew Chan lying in the kitchen, his legs folded beneath him. He had a large wound on his neck, he told court, and a large puncture wound on his chest. His skin was grey and blue, Maxwell said, and he realized quickly he was dead.
Aware that there was at least one other person in the house, Maxwell began searching the adjoining rooms. In a room toward the back of the house, identified as the master bedroom, he found Lynn Witteveen.
She had multiple wounds to her head, face, eye, chest, neck and arm. Maxwell testified he checked her vital signs.
“She literally kind of gasped,” Maxwell said. Realizing she was alive, he worked to staunch the blood coming from her neck wound. He told court he stayed with her until paramedics arrived and took over.
Another officer told court he was on his way to the hospital when a dispatcher told him another call relating to this incident had been made, this one by a young woman who said her brother was out of control.
The officer said he and his partner arrived on scene and he noticed a window near the front door was shattered. He could see a man with a knife inside the home, pacing back and forth. He told court he could hear the man yelling, “I’m God.”
The officer pulled out his conducted energy weapon, more commonly referred to as a taser. He and his partner began banging on the door. He testified the man put the knife down, opened the door, and fell forward, face first.
“He was covered in blood, and he was sweating,” the officer testified. “He was very strong.”
He and another officer managed to get the man in handcuffs, though he continued to struggle. The officer told court the decision was made to put the man in the back of a police cruiser. He said it took several officers to get him inside.
Thomas Chan’s mother was at the scene. The officer said she was upset, and wanted to know if anyone had been hurt.
Given what had happened, the officer told court he decided not to tell her about the scene inside. Instead, she and her daughter were brought to the police station.
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