Stabbing death rattles Charlottetown neighbourhood

Jim Day
Published on July 15, 2014

Marc Periard and his dog Dutch, members of the RCMP police dog services, comb the yard of a home on Brows Lane in Charlottetown Saturday after a man was stabbed to death on the premises Friday night. Periard is assisting the Charlottetown Police Services because the department no longer has a police dog service.

©Guardian photo by Brian McInnis

Reuben MacDougall had nodded off during a Blue Jays game Friday night as a man was dying right outside his Charlottetown home.

MacDougall woke up to the sight of police lights flashing on his window.

He got up and opened his front door to see paramedics working on a man who was lying on his lawn.

MacDougall’s first thought was that this man, who was clearly in peril, was having a heart attack or some other serious health incident.

Soon he realized that what had led a shirtless 45-year-old Kent David Gallant of Charlottetown, dressed in only jeans and sneakers, to lie and die on MacDougall’s front lawn was far nastier in nature.

He believes he saw one, maybe two, stab wounds on the left side of the man’s chest, near the heart. There was a small smear of blood on the man’s chest.

About eight of MacDougall’s neighbours also spilled outside their homes around 9:30 p.m. to witness the commotion.

One of those neighbours had arrived after the stabbing, but in time to take in the unsettling outcome to the earlier altercation.

“I saw him pass away, which is really sad,’’ says the young woman, who asked not to be named. “They (paramedics) just tried to work on him and he passed away.’’

Police spent the next five hours tracking down the person suspected of the crime.

At about 2:33 a.m. Saturday, inside a perimeter that was set up around the crime scene, a 17-year-old female was arrested, say police. The accused is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday for a show-cause hearing.

P.E.I. Chief Coroner Charles Trainor personally transported Gallant’s body to Halifax for a forensic autopsy Sunday that took about three hours to perform. Trainor says the cause of death was determined to be from a stab wound to the chest.

Police continue to investigate the murder and are asking anyone with any information to contact Charlottetown Police at 629-4172.

Meanwhile, neighbours try to make sense of the violent death that took place so close to home.

On Monday morning, MacDougall, who has lived in his Brows Lane home for 40 years, pointed out to grass on his front lawn still flattened on the spot where the victim’s body had laid days earlier.

“Well, it shook me up,’’ he says of the death. “I didn’t settle down too much (that night).’’

In fact, he has had difficulty sleeping since.

MacDougall knows nothing of the victim. He had never spoken to him in the past.

Another neighbour says the man was living with his girlfriend (not the woman who has been arrested) in a basement apartment at 182 St. Peters Rd. in a house separated into two apartment units. The house is located on the corner of St. Peters Road and Brows Lane.

One woman believes Gallant had been living in that apartment since at least last October.

With the exception of the odd party, the place was mostly quiet, she observes.

“Fairly run of the mill,’’ she says. “Wouldn’t expect anything like this. It was a little unsettling.’’

However, police say Gallant did not live at 182 St. Peters Rd., but would not say where he lived, noting only he was a Charlottetown resident. Police would not even confirm the crime scene “at this point.’’

Yet early Saturday morning, yellow police tape ringed the house and property at that address while a city police officer was guarding the scene.