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"ELI" 2003 Obituary


ELIJAH o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-01-03 published
Man faces gun charge in stepson's death
By Graeme SMITH Friday, January 3, 2003, Page A3
A mother's grief was mixed with anger yesterday when her partner remained in jail on a weapons charge in the fatal shooting of her son on a hunting trip.
"I don't think it's fair at all," the tearful 30-year-old, who asked not to be named, said in a telephone interview from her home near Hagersville, Ontario
This is the second time she has mourned the death of a child over the holidays: Her younger son, Elijah JADE, died in a car crash on Christmas Eve two years ago.
Her older son, 10-year-old Aaron James MARTIN, went hunting for his first deer in Southwold Township, south of London, Ontario, on New Year's Day with his 31-year-old stepfather, Fabian ELIJAH, and Mr. ELIJAH's 12-year-old nephew.
Shortly after 1 p.m., police say, Mr. ELIJAH was crossing a creek in a ravine when he slipped and fell. The jolt set off his .22-calibre rifle, and a bullet hit Aaron in the head.
Mr. ELIJAH and his nephew ran in opposite directions, out of the woodlot and across corn fields, searching for help. Mr. ELIJAH found a farmhouse and emergency services were called.
Rescuers at first had trouble finding the boy, Ontario Provincial Police spokesman Dennis HARWOOD said: "It was difficult because of the terrain."
Emergency crews borrowed four-wheel-drive pickup trucks and tore across the rolling fields, but the distraught hunters had trouble retracing their steps.
"They were trying their best," Mr. HARWOOD said. "But they were disoriented."
An air ambulance eventually spotted the boy from above, Mr. HARWOOD said. The helicopter took him to the Children's Hospital of Western Ontario in London, where he was pronounced dead.
A police investigation later revealed that a 1993 court order had forbidden Mr. ELIJAH to own guns. He appeared in a Saint Thomas, Ontario, courtroom yesterday, was charged with illegal possession of a firearm and was denied bail.
Investigators are still examining the accident, Mr. HARWOOD said, though foul play is not suspected.
The boy's mother said Mr. ELIJAH, her partner for about three years, was an experienced hunter. She hadn't known about the 1993 court order, she said.
She has four surviving children, all girls.
Aaron had enjoyed playing on a local lacrosse team until his brother's death, she said. "He's just been trying to heal from that."
The boy was still learning to hunt, having tried it only a few times before. He was also learning to speak the Mohawk language of his ancestors.
"He was a high-spirited young boy," his mother said. "He had lots of Friends. He was always helping people with things, you know. I want the world to know how beautiful my sons were," she said. "I want everybody to remember his kind and gentle heart. He's with the Creator now, with his brother."

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