The man who died early this morning after being assaulted on Gottingen Street has been identified as 49-year-old Raymond Taavel and his death has been ruled a homicide.
On Tuesday, April 17 at 2:39 a.m., Halifax Regional Police responded to an assault in the 2100 block of Gottingen Street. The preliminary investigation indicates that the Mr. Taavel attempted to break up a fight between two men and that one of the men began assaulting him. A witness called police after he noticed a man lying on the ground bleeding and observed a person fleeing the area. The witness was able to provide information to police that assisted HRP Canine in locating a man hiding in a nearby alley. Thirty-two-year-old Andre Noel Denny is scheduled to appear in Halifax Provincial Court tomorrow to face a charge of second degree murder.
Earlier in the evening, police had received a report that Denny had failed to return to the East Coast Forensic Unit in Burnside. Indications are that he left on a one hour leave at 7:30 p.m. and failed to return at 8:30 p.m. He was reported missing to police at 8:47 p.m. and officers were dispatched at 9:01 p.m. to look for him but were unable to find him.
There has been speculation on-line and in the community that this was a hate crime. While we cannot provide specific information about the case, as it is still under investigation, police have spoken to a number of witnesses and are considering all possibilities with respect to the motive.