August 23, 2019

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Slain lawyer mourned as 'awesome guy, big heart'

A woman who worked with the victim of Winnipeg’s 20th homicide of 2019 said she remembers Justin Silicz as a kind, responsible man with a good sense of humour.

“It’s horrible. I was shocked. (It’s some) of the saddest news of my life,” said Irene Kapelka, who worked with Silicz for two years when she was a legal assistant at Pullan Kammerloch Frohlinger, the law firm where Silicz worked as a lawyer.

“I couldn’t believe something like that could happen," Kapelka said.

Kapelka said she moved to Ontario a few years ago, and heard about Silicz’s death when one of their former co-workers sent her a link to a news story about it on Monday.

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A woman who worked with the victim of Winnipeg’s 20th homicide of 2019 said she remembers Justin Silicz as a kind, responsible man with a good sense of humour.

"It’s horrible. I was shocked. (It’s some) of the saddest news of my life," said Irene Kapelka, who worked with Silicz for two years when she was a legal assistant at Pullan Kammerloch Frohlinger, the law firm where Silicz worked as a lawyer.

FACEBOOK </p><p>32-year-old Justin Silicz of Winnipeg.</p>

FACEBOOK

32-year-old Justin Silicz of Winnipeg.

"I couldn’t believe something like that could happen," Kapelka said.

Kapelka said she moved to Ontario a few years ago, and heard about Silicz’s death when one of their former co-workers sent her a link to a news story about it on Monday.

"You hear about assaults and stuff happening and the police arresting people, but somebody that you know … I couldn’t believe it happened to him," she said.

Kapelka said she talked to Silicz every day when she worked at the firm, and they sometimes went to the gym together. She said she remembers him as a hard worker at the office and outside of it.

"He was an awesome guy, big heart," Kapelka said. "I’m sorry it happened."

Silicz’s lawyer profile on the firm’s website described him as an avid sports fan and fitness enthusiast, and a specialist in transborder transactions and real estate law. That profile was removed from the site on Tuesday.

Silicz was killed early Sunday morning. Police responded to a report of an assault at around 4:35 a.m. in the area of Arlington Street and Notre Dame Avenue. Officers found the 32-year-old seriously injured — although police would not specify what type of injuries, or any other details of the assault.

Officers took Silicz to the hospital in critical condition, where he later died.

Winnipeg Police Services spokesperson Const. Jay Murray said at a press conference Monday morning there is still no evidence that suggests Silicz’s death was connected to two other assaults that happened nearby the same morning — particularly because police have no suspects in custody in any of the three cases — though he said they are still investigating.

Police are asking anyone who lives or works in the area of Arlington Street between Winnipeg Avenue and Notre Dame Avenue to check their surveillance tapes from the night of June 1 and the early morning of June 2.

Anyone with information that may help in the investigation is asked to call the major crimes unit at 204-986-6219 or Winnipeg Crime Stoppers at 204-786-TIPS (8477).

caitlyn.gowriluk@freepress.mb.ca

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History

Updated on Tuesday, June 4, 2019 at 8:34 PM CDT: Adds classmates comments

June 5, 2019 at 6:20 AM: Fixes typo

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