Hundreds rally for McLean at funeral
The family of Tim McLean, a 22-year-old Winnipegger viciously murdered on a Greyhound bus, was able to pay their last respects in peace Saturday.
Members of a fanatical American church who had promised to protest the funeral didn't show up; but hundreds of strangers who wanted to show their support for the family did.
There was also a heavy police presence at the church. Officers patrolled the area on bikes, by car, and from the church roof.
Winnipeg police say they were prepared to make sure the family was protected from the protestors.
About 500 other people, who came from around the city and in some cases across the border, had the same idea.
They came prepared to link arms and hold up umbrellas if necessary, to block the protestors from view.
The protestors did not show up, but friends and family still appreciated the show of support. Before the service started, they came out of the church to shake hands and thank those that had gathered.
Tim's uncle, Alex McLean, told people who attended the funeral service that his nephew was "friendly, kind, sweet and caring."
Tim McLean, a travelling carnival worker, loved making new friends on his many journeys, his uncle said.
But "he never left behind the ones he made in high school," McLean said. "His love of his friends was easy to see".
The 22-year-old had been returning to Winnipeg following a stint on the road. He had sent text messages to family saying how much he was looking forward to seeing them.
As he dozed on the bus, a man took a seat beside him. Without warning or apparent provocation, the man attacked McLean with a large knife as the bus neared Portage La Prairie, Man. on its way towards Winnipeg.
Terrified people streamed off the bus. The assailant then severed McLean's head and taunted police.
Vincent Weiguang Li, 40, has been charged with second-degree murder. A judge has ordered a psychiatric evaluation for Li. He will return to court on Sept. 8. Li has yet to enter a plea.
The horrific nature of the attack has led to an outpouring of sympathy for McLean's family, who describes their deceased loved one as a light-hearted charmer.
CTV's Stacey Ashley was at the church all day. See her full report tonight on CTV News at 11:30.