SAINT JOHN, N.B. — A Saint John man has been charged with the city’s first homicide of 2023, as a family grieves the loss of their 38-year-old son who had been struggling with addiction.
Daryl Bishop confirmed that his son, Alexander Bishop, was killed in the early hours of Aug. 20.
Alexander grew up in the Kennebecasis Valley and worked as a heavy equipment operator, his job taking him as far away as Dawson Creek, B.C., Bishop said in an interview Monday.
Alexander suffered a sports injury at a young age and was prescribed narcotics at 14 to manage the pain. He had struggled with addictions ever since, his father said.
“Drugs have been very much a part of Alex’s life since he was a young teen,” Bishop said. “He used it and he sold it.”
Bishop said his son was “so far gone” into his addiction that the family had been bracing for bad news.
“You take one thing out of the equation, and this doesn’t happen,” Bishop said, “and that’s drugs.”
Police said a man was shot Aug. 20 in an apartment building on King Street East and was pronounced dead at the scene when officers arrived shortly after 5:30 a.m. The suspect fled the scene before police arrived and was arrested in a “high-risk traffic stop” in the city's north end later that morning, police said.
On Monday, Zakkary Hyulett Reed, 31, appeared in Saint John court and was charged with first-degree murder.
Saint John Police Staff Sgt. Sean Rocca said Bishop and Reed knew each other and that the shooting was “not a random act of violence.”
In an interview Monday, Rocca said police believe only one person was responsible for Bishop’s murder, “but the investigation is continuing, and certainly we’re not jumping to any conclusions.”
The force’s major crimes unit secured three different locations, including the scene of the alleged crime, he said. Police will apply for court authorization to search two other locations, Rocca said, adding that identifying the locations would jeopardize the integrity of the investigation.
Police said detectives continue to gather evidence and canvas for witnesses and video surveillance from the 100-block of King Street East, in Saint John's uptown neighbourhood.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 21, 2023.
— By Marlo Glass in Halifax.
The Canadian Press