'Homeless hero' found dead in river where he saved others
Ben Miljure & Meghan Roberts, CTV Winnipeg
Published Monday, August 18, 2014 4:27PM CST
Last Updated Tuesday, August 19, 2014 5:24PM CST
The family of Faron Hall, the man dubbed Winnipeg's "homeless hero," confirms he was found dead in the Red River Sunday – the same river where he received fame for his lifesaving actions in 2009.
Winnipeg police said Monday they confirmed the identity of the man whose body was discovered near Kildonan Park Sunday evening, but were still in the process of notifying the man’s family.
As the death was not deemed suspicious, police will not be publicly releasing the man’s name.
Hall, a homeless Winnipegger, received media attention in 2009 for pulling two people from the Red River on separate occasions. He received the mayor’s Medal of Valour.
Faron's uncle tells CTV News Faron’s father died recently and he had a hard time with it. "I just know where my nephew is. He’s in a good place now. He’s home. He’s not homeless (any) more. He’s with his relatives and I’m happy for that," said Patrick Hall.
He adds Faron never considered himself a hero. "I’ve always asked him, you know, about his status about being a hero and he said, ‘You know, uncle, I’m not a hero,' he said. Just that, you know, I did what I can," said Patrick.
Mayor Sam Katz released a statement Monday night on the death of Hall.
“The death of Faron Hall is tragic; he was a humble individual who put himself last and gave the best of himself to others even while battling his own immense challenges. Most heartbreaking is that he seemed to miss seeing in himself what we saw in him: that he was a true and selfless hero deserving of honours and a good life.”
Police said they believe the deceased is the same man spotted in distress in the Red River on Friday, when the captain of a river taxi launched a failed rescue attempt.
65-year-old Splash Dash River Tour Captain Al Smith suffered a heart attack during that rescue attempt. Smith is still recovering.