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This article was published 5/10/2017 (258 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Members of the Brandon Friendship Centre are mourning the death of a longtime visitor and student they referred to as "Mr. Awesome," who was scheduled to get back in the swing of classes just this week.
Burton Tacan died after being violently beaten and robbed over the weekend.
Police said a man and a woman followed him into his apartment, brutally attacked him, took his personal belongings and fled.
Tacan was flown to Winnipeg with severe head injuries where he died a few days later.
Ashley Nicole Ross, 28, was arrested on Sunday and charged with aggravated assault and robbery with violence.
Mitchell Jerod Myran, 25, turned himself in to police on Tuesday, and was arrested and charged with manslaughter, aggravated assault and robbery with violence.
Members of Brandon Police Service’s Criminal Investigations Unit are still investigating the circumstances surrounding the attack, Sgt. Dave Andrew said, adding it is believe the accused were known to the victim.
Outrage spread across Facebook with the news of Tacan’s death, with friends and family members alike expressing shock that such a "sweet guy" who was "always smiling" could be the victim of such a violent attack.
Lyndon Bournon, adult education co-ordinator at the Brandon Friendship Centre said he got to know Tacan pretty well over the four years he was attending classes, and was looking forward to him continuing his education in the coming weeks.
Especially upsetting about the attack, Bournon said, was that Tacan was disabled — walking with a pronounced limp and a leg brace after he had been beaten up as a teenager.
"I feel terrible about it. I can’t believe that somebody … would beat up a person who is already disabled," Bournon said. "I can’t imagine what lay behind that."
Despite life’s hardships, Bournon said Tacan was a fearless and determined guy who managed to maintain a positive attitude.
Tacan would stop at the Friendship Centre on Lorne Avenue for coffee in the morning, Bournon recalled, always making a point of calling Bournon to let him know he was on his way to the Rosser Avenue location for class.
"He would sort of announce his impending arrival," Bournon said. "He’d come through the door and say, ‘Morning people!’, so I’d ask how he was and his frequent reply was always, ‘Awesome!’…That’s where his nickname came from, Mr. Awesome."
At their most recent meeting last week, Tacan said he had started singing at the Brandon Vineyard Community Church and loved it, Bournon said.
"He told us he sang louder than anybody, but that he didn’t care," Bournon said, laughing. "Sometimes Burton could be a bit loud … but his positive attitude was quite infectious, it was a great thing … in his own words, he was awesome."
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