A random, violent encounter on a weekday night in Leduc has changed a young man’s life forever.
Brian Chipley has been in hospital for the past 25 days. A week ago, his leg had to be amputated.
The ordeal began on July 7 when Chipley, 24, was driving to his home in Leduc with a friend after running some errands.
“He was driving by a guy on the sidewalk who yelled something at him, so Brian stopped,” Chipley’s father Jay told CBC News. “He thought it was this fellow that he knew.”
Jay said his son and the man on the sidewalk got into a verbal confrontation that included the man demanding the keys to Brian’s car.
He refused to hand the keys over.
“When Brian had turned around to go back to his car to avoid any more confrontation, the guy pulled out a shotgun and shot him in the back of the leg,” Jay Chipley said. “He hit him in the face with the barrel of the shotgun.”
According to Jay, the attacker hurt his son even more as he drove away.
“He kind of ran him over and dragged him a few feet down the street as he was stealing his car,” Jay said.
Brian was rushed to University of Alberta Hospital with what RCMP described as serious, life-threatening injuries.
Several hours later, Edmonton police located the vehicle and arrested a suspect.
Isaac Joseph Raymond, 23, from Thorsby faces 19 criminal charges including aggravated assault and a number of weapons offences. He remains in custody.
Jay said it turns out his son did not know the accused attacker.
“Never met the guy. Never heard of him,” Jay said. “Completely 100 per cent random and Brian was unfortunately in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Since his admission to hospital, Brian has undergone ten surgeries and faces another one on Sunday or Monday.
According to a GoFundMe page launched by Jay, Brian’s left leg was amputated above the knee on July 23, after repeated surgical intervention could not save the limb.
Jay Chipley is trying to raise $25,000 to pay for a state-of-the-art prosthetic leg and to cover other medical expenses. He expects that once his son is released from hospital, he will face more than a year of rehabilitation as he learns how to walk again.
“It’s incredibly sad to see a young man who was so able-bodied, unable to do the things he wants to do,” Jay said as he fought back tears.
He’s constantly been by his son’s hospital bedside.
“It’s heart-wrenching actually to look at him every day. Not because he has one leg. Just because he’s limited to four walls. He can’t even get out of bed,” Jay said.
The widowed father of four said he does his best to have his oldest child think positively.
“I still remind him that his life is not over,” Jay said.
“It’s just going to take a different direction.”