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Nail gun work site described as friendly

Shawn Wade Hynes follows his lawyer into the court room. Hynes is charged with criminal negligence causing bodily harm and assault with a weapon. He has pled not guilty.
Shawn Wade Hynes follows his lawyer into the court room. Hynes is charged with criminal negligence causing bodily harm and assault with a weapon. He has pled not guilty. - Brendan Ahern

PICTOU

Everybody’s good friends until someone gets shot with a nail gun.

The work site where a man was shot with a nail gun in 2018 was described Wednesday in provincial court as a place where everyone was on good terms.

“We all got along really well,” said PQ Properties employee Dan Clarke, who was working on the job site and assisting the accused when the incident took place.

“I mean, we never really had issues at work. None.”

Clarke was testifying at the trial of Shawn Wade Hynes, who is charged with criminal negligence causing bodily harm and assault with a weapon.

On Sept. 2, 2018, Nhlanhla Dlamini who was then 21 years old, was shot in the back by a nail fired by a nail gun (Dlamini’s given name is usually shortened to ‘N.H’).

Keith Jordan, who described himself as second-in-command under PQ Properties owner Paul Quinn, said that once he determined what happened, he administered first aid and noticed a “tiny puncture wound. It was basic, as far as first aid goes.”

He asked Dlamini if he wanted to go to the hospital, an offer that was declined.

Dhalimini was later taken to Aberdeen Hospital by a friend, where it was discovered that he was suffering with a partially collapsed lung.

“Shawn took the kid under his wings the first couple of weeks,” said Clarke, who later reiterated that “we were all buddies on the site.”

The defence is arguing that the wound occurred when Hynes was using the air gun in an appropriate manner during construction of a house in Abercrombie and that the misfire was the result of a ricochet.

“I have seen it happen,” said Jordan. “It doesn’t happen every day, but it happens.”

Clarke, who had started working for PQ Properties in August of 2018, said he had never observed any conflict between Dlamini and the accused.

In an interview with The News three weeks after the incident, Dlamini’s mother Stacey said that N.H., who is black, told her how in the three weeks he had been working for PQ Properties, he had been called “Squigger.” Stacey Dlamini said at the time that a friend of her son pointed out to him that he noticed how close it is to the N word.

But in his testimony on Tuesday, Jordan said that he called Hynes and Dlamini “Lenny and Squiggy” (of Laverne and Shirley TV fame) due to a noticeable discrepancy in their respective heights.

Clarke told the court that after he noticed some splintering in the area where the spike was supposed to be driven in – which he said usually indicates that a spike has ricocheted – he climbed off the five-foot high scaffolding they’d been standing on to retrieve more material when he saw Dlamini lying on his stomach, about 40 feet away.

He told court he informed Hynes, whom he said quickly went over to investigate.

“We knew there was a ricochet, we did not know where the nail went,” said Clarke.

The trial resumes on Sept. 19, when Hynes is expected to take the witness stand.

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