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‘He went above and beyond’: Vancouver overdose prevention site worker identified as homicide victim

Tributes pouring in for overdose prevention worker killed in a Vancouver stabbing
Tributes pouring in for overdose prevention worker killed in a Vancouver stabbing

The victim in Vancouver’s ninth homicide of the year has been identified as a worker at an overdose prevention site.

Colleagues said Thomus Donaghy, 41, was known for going out of his way to help those dealing with addiction.

Fatal stabbing victim identified as Vancouver overdose prevention site volunteer
Fatal stabbing victim identified as Vancouver overdose prevention site volunteer

“In the middle of the night, he would go in alleys down by himself and he’d save lives just because he knew that there were people going to be at risk if we weren’t going to do that,” Sarah Blyth, executive director of the Overdose Prevention Society.

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“He went above and beyond what most people would do, so this makes it so much more tragic and a big loss for people because he was just, like, a star person.”

Donaghy was on a break from his shift at the overdose prevention site at St. Paul’s Hospital on Monday night when he was attacked. He was found near Thurlow and Comox streets around 8:30 p.m. and died a short time later, police said.

Extended: How community policing has changed in Vancouver’s DTES
Extended: How community policing has changed in Vancouver’s DTES

No arrests have been made so far and the identity of the suspect is unclear, police said.

Donaghy has probably saved hundreds of lives during the overdose crisis, Blyth said.

“Not a lot of people will trudge around in the middle of a snowy wintertime picking up people that are dying,” she said.

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“He was just more than happy to do it. And for nothing, not even a thank you. He just did it because he knew people were suffering and he understood that. So it’s a really huge, huge shock to everyone and sad time for us.”