Burlington father dead after former client opens fire at chiropractic clinic
Kayla Goodfield and Rachael D'Amore, CTV Toronto
Published Friday, March 17, 2017 11:23AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, March 17, 2017 8:07PM EDT
A Burlington chiropractic clinic owner is dead after a shooting broke out inside the clinic on Thursday.
Dr. Ferdinand “Fred” Mejilla was fatally shot at his business, Mejilla Family Chiropractic Clinic, located in a plaza on Plains Road East, sometime after noon Thursday.
The 50-year-old was rushed to hospital with gunshot wounds but he died of his injuries a short time later.
Halton Regional Police confirmed Friday that Dr. Mejilla was the owner of the clinic.
A woman who said she frequents the clinic, Lisa Jane Emery, told CTV News Toronto that the suspect in the case is married to the receptionist.
“Dr. Fred was a very close friend, confidant, boss and he was my family,” Emery said. “He was such a generous man and he understands people’s situations. He would charge people by their case and what they could afford – if they couldn’t afford it he would work with them in other ways.”
Emery saw Mejilla as a patient for one year and worked for him for two years.
“He hired me in lieu of payment to help him at all of his festivals and be his assistant so that I could receive care and not have to worry about payment,” she said.
Emery was at the clinic on Thursday prior to the shooting. She said she hugged Mejilla and the receptionist before leaving and told them she would see them later.
Emery said that Dr. Mejilla leaves behind a girlfriend and five children between the ages of 19 and 11.
“They are surrounded by loved ones – they are very upset,” she said. “I don’t think it has really set in just yet for us – it’s a little surreal.”
“I got to spend a lot of time with his kids and got to know them and they are very special, fun and loving – they just loved their dad.”
The suspect, identified as 44-year-old Burlington resident David Williamson, is suffering from what police believe is a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He remains in hospital in critical condition.
When asked how the receptionist was doing after this shooting, Emery said she has not heard from her.
“My heart is with her and I pray that I will see her soon.”
Emery said she feels for patients of Dr. Megilla who will now have to find a new chiropractor.
“Everyone is going to have to find new care, which is not easy because he excelled,” Emery said. “His clinic was not a normal clinic, it was a family environment – patients would stay for comradery and friendship after their adjustments and hang out for laughs.”
According to investigators, Williamson was a one-time patient of Dr. Mejilla.
A witness at the scene Thursday told CP24 that two victims were brought out of the clinic on stretchers shortly after emergency crews arrived. He said neither victim was moving.
Police were also seen towing a license plate-less blue Audi S5 from the plaza’s parking lot, though they refused to comment on whether it was related to the incident.
At this point, no charges have been laid. Police say the investigation is ongoing.