Walter “Tokkie” Reynolds, the 45-year-old South African-born doctor was allegedly murdered by a “drug addict” at a clinic in Red Deer in Canada on Monday with a hammer.
The attacker reportedly showed up at the clinic and demanded pills, which Reynolds refused.
The attacker, Deng Mabiour, 54, has been charged with first-degree murder, assault of a peace officer and assault with a weapon.
According to Netwerk24, Reynolds ironically emigrated to Canada to escape high crime levels in South Africa.
“Saddened to learn of this horrendous and fatal attack on a Red Deer doctor. Can’t imagine the pain and sorrow his family and clinic staff are now going through. On behalf of all Albertans, our deepest condolences go out to them,” Alberta premier Jason Kennedy tweeted on social media.
A campaign has been set up to secure funds that will solely be used by Reynolds’ wife, to pay for travel expenses for her and Walter’s close family from South Africa, funeral expenses and his daughters’ education.
“On a normal sunny Monday morning, 10 August, life changed forever for the Reynolds family. Walter tragically lost his life serving his community as a family doctor. An unimaginable, horrific act of violence took him away from his loving family. He was attacked in his office by a patient,” Johan Myburgh, a friend and colleague of Reynolds wrote.
“His friends, colleagues and community mourn an exceptional human being lost too soon. We all are devastated and heartbroken. He was a devout father to two amazing young daughters and a loving husband. He loved to run, be healthy, and – most of all – spend time with his family.”
In a statement written by the clinic where Reynolds was working when he died, Village Mall Clinic, they described him as “sharp-witted, a devoted husband, and an amazing dad for his two beautiful young daughters”.
The continued to read; “Our friend, Dr Reynolds – better known to us as Walter or Wallie – moved to Canada in 2003 with his wife, Anelia. They moved from Manitoba to Red Deer in 2006 and started working at Village Mall Clinic soon after. He was passionate in life. If there was a race to run, then he was there. He ran from marathons to mud races, from Sinister Seven to Spartan challenges. He would be frequently seen jogging with his wife around the neighbourhood, or sweating it out at the gym. With this same energy and dedication Walter put into life, he gave to each of his patients. From the delivery room to the hospice, he dedicated himself one hundred percent. If there was a task at work that needed to be done, he would step up to the plate. If a patient needed help, he walked the extra mile… and then some.”
“Our hearts go out to Walter and Anelia’s families left behind in South Africa. We lost more than a colleague. We lost a friend. A brother. A son. A father and a husband. We all lost a person who lived life to the fullest.”
Many people reached out to show their support, including the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) who also shared their wishes and respect for Reynolds. “Doctors dedicate their lives to improving the health and well-being of their patients. Together with other healthcare workers, they put themselves at risk every day to help others – especially now, as physicians and healthcare workers around the world fight Covid-19. Dr Reynolds’ violent death is shocking and devastating. It reminds us of the dangers that healthcare and other frontline workers face daily.”
Family and friends will be hosting a memorial service today (Friday) to share in the memory of Reynolds.