One week on, RCMP have made no arrests in the vicious beating death of 25-year-old Jay Sin (Jason) Nunn, whose body was found in a parking lot behind the Juniper Centre around 6 a.m. Easter Sunday morning.
While crowd estimates vary, at least 700 people appear to have started a walk organized by the ad hoc group Solve This Ongoing Problem (S.T.O.P.) from MacLean Park through Eastwood last Wednesday night to take back the streets of Thompson and make them safe again.
The walk, the largest such event in recent Thompson history, was put together with less than 72 hours organization and attracted support from a wide spectrum of the community, A complete report, including a story and photos by Citizen reporter Ryan Flanagan, will appear online and in the Thompson Citizen May 4.
RCMP are appealing for public assistance in tracing the last hours of Nunn's life.
Sgt. Line Karpish, an RCMP media relations officer in Winnipeg, said April 26 that at about 2:30 a.m. Sunday, "Nunn was observed leaving the Element Restaurant and Lounge in Thompson. RCMP are asking anyone that may have information about Nunn's movements after leaving this establishment to call the Thompson RCMP at (204) 677-6909 or Manitoba Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) OR submit a secure tip online at www.manitobacrimestoppers.com Text: "TIPMAN" plus your message to CRIMES (274637)."
The Element Restaurant and Lounge is located at 60 Commercial Place. The bar is perhaps best known still to long-time Thompson residents as the Headframe, River Cabaret or Perrie's Cabaret. It was built in 1971. After being closed for several years, new owners began renovating it in May 2007 and it reopened two years later on May 1, 2009.
RCMP investigators April 25 canvassed local businesses on Commercial Place, to see if they had any exterior video surveillance cameras that might aid them in identifying suspects in Nunn's slaying.
Nunn was remembered by friends and family as a cheerful and generous young man "that was just starting life" at a public mourning and prayer gathering April 25 in the Juniper Centre parking lot, where his badly beaten body was found Easter Sunday, less than a block from his parents' home.
The 25-year-old had recently started working at Vale's refinery and just received his first paycheque the week before he was killed, said his cousin Raymond Robinson. Nunn was planning to move into his own apartment.
"And yet that will never take shape now," said Robinson, who addressed approximately 200 people who attended the prayer gathering, from as far as Cross Lake, urging anyone with any information about Nunn's murder to come forward. "He was so happy that he earned his own money."
Nunn's body was found in the parking lot behind the Juniper Centre, near the Senator Apartments, about 6 a.m. Easter Sunday morning and RCMP were called around 6:20 a.m. Police used photos to help identify Nunn, who is Eastwood's second murder victim in a month and seventh in 3 1/2 years.
"Jay had the $100 smile," said Tamara Katchmar, a friend of Nunn's, who attended the public mourning. "He always had a smile across his face and cared a lot about his family. He cared for his friends like they were his family."
Nunn was also generous, said Robinson and Katchmar.
"He would bend over backwards to give you a hand," Robinson remembered. "That was Jay Sin. Jay was the type of guy to give you the shirt off his back. He was so full of life."
Robinson said something should be done to prevent what happened to his cousin from happening to anyone else.
"Something should be done to curb the problem Thompson is facing," Robinson said. "The heinous crimes done against anybody, any race should not be tolerated. Do not let Jay Sin's passing be in vain. Do not let violence take control of us. Let's take control of violence."
He also said the Nunn family hoped that the killer or killers would be caught.
"We are hoping as a family on behalf of Jay Sin that justice will prevail," said Robinson, expressing thanks for the community's support. "We thank you for all the prayer and kindness and support shown to the family. Keep us in you prayers and keep Jay Sin's family in your prayers. Thank you very much on behalf of the Nunn family."
Karen Butler, in a post on the Thompson Citizen's Facebook page, wrote at just after 11 a.m. April 25: "What Thompson needs is God - not religion - but God. True divine intervention - Thompson is a "spiritual" place but does not know God in His power. How many more kids do you have to lose before you will wake up and really search out the truth?"
Nunn was originally from Leaf Rapids.
The slaying of Nunn took place just over a month after 16-year-old Fletcher Mcdougall was jumped outside the South Tower apartment of Princeton Towers around 3 a.m. March 20.
Joey Aitken Whiteway, 19, of Thompson, was arrested April 13 and charged with second-degree murder in the killing of Mcdougall. Two other suspects, including one for which police released a composite sketch March 22, remain at large.
Correction: An earlier version of the story said Nunn's new job was at the smelter.