Two men have pleaded guilty after an attempted robbery in Barbados left a Calgary man paralyzed from the chest down last year, according to the victim.
On Feb. 22, 2020, two armed men stormed into a vacation rental home in Christ Church where Ken Elliott, his wife, his brother and his sister-in-law were staying and shot Elliott, according to Barbados police.
The bullet entered his shoulder, continued through his lung and was lodged in his spine.
Elliott spent months in hospital before heading back to Calgary.
In March 2021, Travis Orin Campbell and Alexander Patrick Alleyne — who were both 19 at the time of the shooting — pleaded guilty to trespassing, aggravated assault and operating a firearm without a licence, according to Elliott.
‘Diminished and gone’
Elliott, now 66, said he believes the men deserved a more aggressive charge like attempted murder, considering how his life was impacted by the attack.
“It certainly has been a journey from all aspects of life and changes throughout life. It’s been substantial to encounter,” he told Global News on Monday.
“It’s just an unfortunate chain of events.”
Elliott needs daily care and can’t operate his motorcycle or vehicles anymore.
“My life on a scale of one to 10 prior to this incident, I would rate it a high nine and possibly a 10, and currently, I don’t think that one elevates much past point of one,” he said.
“My ability to control my bodily functions is absolutely diminished and gone.”
Elliott said he is having surgery later this week to have the bullet removed with the hope it could increase his mobility.
“We’ll be glad when the bullet is out. Hopefully, when he’s taking it out, maybe there’s a little thread attached, I don’t know,” said Elliott’s wife Linda Brooks.
“It’d be nice if there was room to get some mobility back because basically, from the chest up, he’s got mobility, and below that, nothing, no feeling whatsoever.”
Elliott explained he doesn’t have any movement or feeling below the nipple level.
“You could cut my leg wide open with a knife, and I wouldn’t know I was bleeding to death,” Elliott said.
The attack has drastically changed the quality of the pair’s life; Brooks freezes in certain situations now.
“You’re suspicious of people. Ken doesn’t go out. There have been times when strangers come to the door, and I won’t answer because I’m terrified,” she said.
Along with help from a nurse, Brooks said she is at home taking care of Elliott most of the time, looking after “his needs and wants.”
“If there’s an accident, I have to clean up after it. I help him with his transferring to bed at night and getting him undressed,” she said.
“His brother Rob and wife Mary, the ones that were with us in Barbados, have actually moved from Ontario out to Calgary to help me with Ken. They’ve left behind their children, their grandchildren, and Ken and Rob’s mom is still alive. She’s elderly, so I mean, they’re away from her too.”
In addition to altering Elliott’s life, the shooting reflects poorly on Barbados, he said.
“This kind of an occurrence is very harsh on the tourist industry that’s already been gravely impacted by COVID,” he said. “You wouldn’t believe that some of the locals could feel so angry.”
“They’re hurting right now. Barbados a beautiful country,” Brooks added.
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