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'We're hurt': Family seeks answers and justice after Calgary man fatally assaulted

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The family of a Calgary man who was fatally assaulted last weekend in the Rundle neighbourhood is calling for upgraded charges.

Catherine Crowchief said she has more questions than answers about how her 26-year-old nephew Carl Crowchief died.

"We're so confused. We're hurt, we're sad, we're mad," she said.

Carl was assaulted at a home in the 100 block of Rundleson Way N.E. on Oct. 23 and died of his injuries.

Police believe the incident was domestic in nature.

"Our culture tells us to pray, to forgive. It's very hard when a loved one is taken in this manner, in this fashion," Crowchief said.

Carl leaves behind two young children — a son and daughter.

Just last year, Carl's wife died following an accident and his eldest son died shortly after.

Crowchief said Carl was like a son and doesn't understand how this happened.

"Anybody that knew Carl knew that he wasn't a violent man, that he was the most loving person that you'd know," she told CTV News.

"If he had to give you the shirt off his back, the jacket off his back, he would. That was the kind of man Carl was."

Alexis Ronnie Jerry, 18, has been charged with manslaughter in Carl's death.

Crowchief said Jerry and her family are known to them, but they did not know the extent of Carl's relationship with her.

Carl's family wants the manslaughter charge to be upgraded to murder.

"At the end of the day, Carl was violently assaulted to the point of death. Like, she needs to be held accountable," Crowchief said.

Andrea Silverstone, CEO of Sagesse Domestic Violence Prevention Society, said it's important to break the stigma that only women are victims of domestic abuse.

"It can happen to anybody, and the gender of the perpetrator or the victim is not important. What's important is that we as society are de-stigmatizing it and offering our thoughts, our support," she said.

Silverstone said most people experiencing or perpetrating domestic abuse tell friends or family before seeking support services, so she urges people to check in with their loved ones.

"That means it's my job to reach out to the people in my world if I think I see something going on, and say to them, 'are you okay? You don't seem to be okay. You seem to be afraid of your partner.' Those are the questions that we need to ask."

Crowchief hopes what happened to Carl is a lesson to others.

"Unfortunately, our society states, 'oh, be a man, don't say anything, people will laugh at you.' That's not true. It can happen to anybody. It happened to Carl and Carl wasn't even a violent man."

Crowchief said she and her family would continue to seek answers and plan on following the case as it moves through the court.

"We want justice for Carl. He didn't deserve to die like this. He didn't deserve this kind of violence."  

Jerry is expected to appear in court on Monday. 

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