U of A gunman "a kind person"

As the shock of last Wednesday’s arrest of a suspected gunman on the University of Alberta campus subsides, the accused’s family is still struggling to make sense of the events.

Fareed Wijdani, charged with weapons and robbery offenses, has been in police custody since Wednesday afternoon. His sister said the family really notices his absence.

"We’re missing one person of the family. I hope he gets some help."

In the weeks before the incident, Wijdani’s sister said her brother was constantly moving.

"It was like he had too much in his head," she said. Wijdani’s sister asserted that her brother, who she called a kind and generous person, was treated unfairly by the media and the University. She claimed her father had been to the University to complain of bullying that Wijdani experienced at school that crippled him academically and caused his suspension.

"There were kids making fun of him, calling him gay," she said. "He stopped studying, and he kept getting in fights with those guys.

"My dad went and complained last year when it happened. The University did nothing. At least they could have recognized that there was a problem."

U of A Associate Vice-president Academic Anne-Marie Decore could not disclose if Wijdani had made a complaint earlier in the year, but she said the University behaved appropriately in every instance that came to their attention.

"We have a discrimination and harassment policy that tells people they should go to the Human Rights Office or to Campus Security," said Decore. "If he were to complain to anybody, they would tell him where to go for help."

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