CTV.ca News Staff
The man accused of a gruesome killing on a Greyhound bus in Manitoba is being described by a Winnipeg pastor who employed him as quiet and hard-working.
Vince Weiguang Li worked for six months as a custodian at the Grant Memorial Church in Winnipeg and was a member of the congregation.
Pastor Tom Castor says Li, a recent immigrant at the time, seemed happy to have a job and was committed to doing it well.
"I think he would occasionally feel frustrated with not being able to communicate or understand," Castor told CTV News. "But we have a very patient staff and he seemed to respond well."
Castor says Li was quiet, and did not show any sign of anger issues or any other trouble before he quit in the spring of 2005.
The congregation is offering support to Li's wife, Anna Li, who Castor says is in shock and is very afraid about her future.
During a church service on Sunday, members also prayed for the family of Tim McLean who was murdered on the Greyhound bus.
Many members said they recognized the need for justice, but believe in forgiveness as well.
They don't plan on turning their backs on Li. Pastor Castor says he's open to visiting him in custody.
The Edmonton connection
Li most recently worked as a courier for an Edmonton newspaper.
CTV News has learned that Li delivered newspapers for the Edmonton Journal and the Edmonton Sun.
Li's boss, Vincent Augert, tells CTV News that he was surprised to learn of the incident because he thought of Li as a nice guy.
Augert says 40-year-old Vince Li had asked for time off to go to Winnipeg for a job interview.
However, Augert says he spoke to Li's wife and she had a different impression, believing her husband had left their home to attend an out-of-town family emergency.
Li last delivered newspapers on Monday, according to his boss in Edmonton, Vincent Auger.
On Tuesday, he "fell off the face of the earth," Augert said, which was unlike Li. Augert phoned him and a woman who identified herself as Li's wife called back, saying Li's disappearance wasn't planned.
"She said to me, 'I don't know where he is, he had to leave town, it was an emergency,' " Augert said. Li had told Augert three weeks ago that he had plans to go to Winnipeg for a job interview.
"I believe he was having some marital problems," said Augert, adding that "you could almost read between the lines" from the way Li was talking "that there was something not right there."
However, it's not officially known yet why Li was on the Greyhound headed for Winnipeg Wednesday.
Never said a word
Li is in custody under video-surveillance in Winnipeg. He next court date is Tuesday in Portage la Prairie.
Li never said a word when he appeared before a judge Friday in Portage la Prairie.
The 40-year-old walked into the courtroom with his head down and kept quiet during the entire proceedings.
Li was guarded by RCMP officers and had a heavily-taped right hand and a swollen face.
Li did not reply when the judge asked if he was going to get a lawyer. He did nod slightly when asked if he was exercising his right not to speak.
The Crown has asked for a psychiatric assessment but the judge said he wanted Li to talk to a lawyer first.
Crown Attorney Larry Hodgson described the court appearance to CTV Newsnet from Portage la Prairie, Man.
Hodgson said that Li seemed to understand what the judge was saying to him.
"He responded with a nod at the appropriate time," the lawyer said.
Hodgson said as far as he knew, Li has not contacted anyone since the time of his arrest.
The matter was adjourned to Aug. 5, when the Crown will once again ask for a psychiatric assessment.
Sources said Sunday that Li is being housed in a segregated unit on the 8th floor of the downtown building and is clothed in a special suicide suit.
As of Sunday afternoon, Li still has not spoken a word, and has not seen a doctor. He has nodded 'yes' or 'no' to some questions asked of him, sources said.
When asked if he was suicidal, Li is said to have nodded 'yes.'
Sources said Li is to be watched by a minimum of five correctional officers if he needs to be transported from his cell. He is also to have his handcuffs and shackles thoroughly checked, as it's believed he's a flight risk.
With files from the Canadian Press
Click to view image: '208982-160_grant_memorial_080803.jpg'
|Liveleak on Facebook|