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Grandparents of Kingston stabbing suspect release letters describing struggle with addiction

WATCH: Letters believed to have been written by the Kingston stabbing suspect have been released by his grandparents.

The grandparents of the suspect behind a violent stabbing in downtown Kingston on Sept. 12 are sharing letters they say he wrote describing his struggle with addiction.

According to the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ontario’s police watchdog, a 22-year-old man repeatedly stabbed Christopher Groeneveld-Barry, 40, at the corner of Queen and Bagot streets, killing him, before attacking an 85-year old man, who sustained injuries but survived the incident.

The SIU was called in to investigate after it says a nearby police officer responded to the stabbing and shot the suspect. The 22-year-old also reportedly harmed himself during the incident, and another officer discharged his conducted energy weapon, according to the SIU.

The suspect, later identified by the SIU as Evan Freeman, was pronounced dead at the scene.

READ MORE: 2 dead following brutal stabbing, police shooting in downtown Kingston

Now, over two months since the stabbing, Freeman’s grandparents, Gerald and Dianna Summers, are revealing letters written by their grandson that describe his addiction to crystal meth.

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One letter reads, in part: “Crystal was my everything, now I’m just better off dead; I lived for crystal there’s nothing else I really care about.”

In the same letter, Freeman writes that there is no cure for meth addiction. He ends one letter by writing: “I’m sorry I keep failing, I dnt [sic] wanna keep letting Justin down time and time again.”

According to the Summers, Justin was Freeman’s former boss, however they don’t know where he worked.

Global News
Global News Global News

Dianna sat at her kitchen table and read the letters to Global News, including one paragraph in which Freeman describes his struggle with addiction and what may have led him to Queen and Bagot streets the morning of the stabbing.

“I need 2 leave Kingston, I know were [sic] the dope is, just downtown I can think of 4 different spots,” reads one of Freeman’s letters. “I have no power I’m weak … I wanna be off the dope cause its [sic] ruining my life.”

Freeman’s grandparents say the young man’s life was chaos from the very beginning. They described his mother battling her own addictions, which they say forced her to give Freeman to the Summers two weeks after he was born in 1996. They also described Freeman as a child who found trouble, resulting in countless trips to the principal’s office. Once the school bell rang, he would bring that anger home and take it out on his sister, his grandmother said.

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READ MORE: Suspect in Kingston knife attack named, described as a ‘good kid’ with demons

“He was violent with his sister. She wanted to be friends,” Dianna said. When asked if she ever thought he was capable of murder, she said: “We, of course, seen signs. We were worried about him at a young age.”

On the Saturday before the attack, Freeman paid a visit to Gerald, a man he called dad, to talk about changing his life and getting sober. It was a moment, Gerald told Global News, that he thought was a turning point in Freeman’s life.

“I thought to myself, ‘This kid just might make it,’ and then to get this, that was a shock,” Gerald said.

Suspect in Kingston knife attack named, described as a ‘good kid’ with demons
Suspect in Kingston knife attack named, described as a ‘good kid’ with demons

When Gerald was asked about the first family Christmas without Freeman, he began to tear up.

“I’ll miss his face. He was a good lad, he really was,” he said.

Throughout the interview, Dianna said her family is deeply sorry to all those affected by Freeman’s attack and that she hasn’t slept or eaten since she received the news.

“I’m so so sorry that this ever happened. I’m so sorry.”

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The Summers also say that while they don’t blame police for their grandson’s death, they do feel he was failed by the system time and time again throughout his life.

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