SA doctor allegedly murdered in hammer attack by 'drug addict' at Canadian clinic

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  • A South African doctor, Walter Reynolds, was murdered at a clinic in Canada on Monday. 
  • It is alleged that his attacker is a drug addict who demanded pills from him, which he refused to give. 
  • A hammer and machete were reportedly used to attack Reynolds. 


A South African doctor died on Monday following an attack at a clinic in Red Deer, Alberta, in Canada.

Netwerk24 has identified the doctor as 45-year-old Walter "Tokkie" Reynolds, a husband and father of two. He reportedly lived in Canada for 15 years. 

Walter Reynolds
Dr Walter Reynolds.

It was reported that an alleged drug addict attacked him after showing up at the clinic and demanding pills, which Reynolds refused to dispense.

According to court documents, Deng Mabiour, 54, has been charged with first-degree murder, assault of a peace officer and assault with a weapon (a machete or imitation of), according to Edmonton Sun.

Dr Peter Bouch, also originally from South Africa and spokesperson for the Red Deer Primary Care network, said the suspect was a patient.

"This was not a random attack and was targeted," Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Superintendent Gerald Grobmeier said on Tuesday, HuffPost Canada reported. 

"Dr Reynolds' colleagues as well as members of the public in the clinic acted quickly to come to the aid of the victim and to minimise harm to others."

Grobmeier said RCMP received a 911 call reporting an assault in progress at the Village Mall Walk-in Clinic just after 11:00 on Monday morning.

Reynolds was taken to hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Grobmeier would not say what weapons were used in the slaying, but a witness told media outlets that the attacker had a machete and a hammer.

Shaken by the killing

Grobmeier said Red Deer physicians were shaken by the killing.

"It's something that's completely foreign to us, that none of us have really experienced before — that such a violent act can happen in an examination room," he reportedly said on Tuesday.

A witness told CBC that she was in the clinic with her 13-year-old daughter when she suddenly heard screams coming from an examination room. 

She reportedly heard someone yell: "Help me, help me. Call 911." 

The witness said she heard banging and that it sounded like Reynolds was trying to save himself and fight off the attacker. 

She told the CBC a panicked receptionist enlisted help from two male patients who tried to get into the room, but said someone slammed the door in their faces. The two men pushed against the door from the outside to make sure the attacker couldn't escape.

The police, paramedics and fire department officials arrived outside the clinic and arrested the man and took Reynolds to hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries. 

The attack has continued to make headlines in Canada.

Alberta premier Jason Kennedy tweeted: "Saddened to learn of this horrendous and fatal attack on a Red Deer doctor. Can't imagine the pain and sorrow his family and clinic staff are now going through. On behalf of all Albertans, our deepest condolences go out to them."

According to Netwerk24, Reynolds ironically emigrated to Canada to escape high crime levels in South Africa.  

Mother is 'broken'

His 71-year-old mother, Muriel Reynolds, told the Afrikaans publication that she had spoken to her son mere hours before the incident. 

This is her second son who was killed. Her youngest son, Edwin, died after being shot during a robbery at the Zwartkops racecourse outside Pretoria in 2007.

"I'm a bit broken - it's just the cruelty of the thing," she reportedly said on Wednesday.

Her other two sons, Eric and Chris, joined her in Struisbaai in the Western Cape on Wednesday morning to support her.

Reynolds is survived by his wife, Anelia, and their two daughters, Juliet, 10, and Claire, 8.

Meanwhile, the man accused of killing Reynolds appeared confused at his first court appearance and said he didn't remember [the attack] and was sick, Global News reported. 

Mabiour appeared via a video link because he is under quarantine due to the coronavirus pandemic. He wasn't able to tell the judge if he understood the charges laid against him.

"Listen to me. I don't remember anything because I'm sick. I want a doctor," Mabiour reportedly told provincial court Judge Bert Skinner.

According to Global News, Skinner said a first-degree murder charge that goes to trial is automatically put before a jury.

The case was postponed to 9 September. 

- Compiled by Riaan Grobler

This article has been edited since publication to correct a geographical error. The intro stated that the incident happened in Atlanta, Canada, when it is in fact Alberta. 

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