A father and son killed in their home in Crofton early Saturday morning were kind, good-hearted men who had tried to help the man now accused of killing them, a family friend said Monday.
North Cowichan-Duncan RCMP officers were called to a report of suspicious circumstances at a house in the 8600-block of Crofton Road just after midnight. When police arrived, they found the bodies of Thomas and Bradley Johnson.
Justin James Dodd, 33, was arrested at the Crofton Road home and has been charged with two counts of second-degree murder in the deaths. Dodd, who is also known as Justin Screaton, is in custody at the North Cowichan RCMP detachment pending his appearance in court on Nov. 2.
“It’s a rough go right now,” friend Terese Shearer said. “I’ve pretty much grown up with Brad. I feel like I’ve just lost my brother. I miss him very much.”
Brad and Justin were friends from high school and used to hang out, she said.
“Brad always had a great heart. He was always helping everyone and Justin was in a time of need. Brad took him in and told him he could stay there,” Shearer said. “It’s just brutal. It’s crazy to think having a good heart could lead to something bad. It honestly blows my mind.”
Tom Johnson, 57, was just like his son, she said.
“He was just a wonderful guy. They were like two peas in a pod. They were best friends. They would do everything together.”
Although there was a big age difference, Brad, 35, dated Shearer’s mother, Liz, for about eight years. They would always go mushroom picking and go for walks and little adventures.
“They were always together. They were best friends and lovers. It broke Brad when my mom passed, four years ago to the day he died. It’s pretty crazy.”
The killings are shocking, Shearer said. “No one really expects this. I hear all these stories about murders but you never think it’s going to happen to someone you know and all of a sudden the day comes,” she said.
“Brad’s sister Chelsea is very much in shock. She doesn’t even have any words to say or what to think. It’s hard honestly. I talked to her and I feel so sorry for her. Those two were like my siblings. They were my family.”
While the investigation is in the preliminary stages, police believe the incident is isolated and there is no ongoing risk to the public, RCMP spokesman Sgt. Chris Manseau said in a statement.
Neighbours said a man living upstairs in the home looked out the window, saw a body in a wheelbarrow and phoned police.
The Forensic Identification Section out of Nanaimo has been called in to assist. The B.C. Coroners Service is also investigating the deaths.
Anyone with information about the killings is asked to contact the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP at 250-748-5522.