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Langford man killed in fight at Esquimalt apartment; suspect charged

Nov 11 2012
Victoria police are investigating a suspicious death in Esquimalt last night.Officers have cordoned off an area near Grenville Ave. and Esquimalt Rd. 

Victoria police are investigating a suspicious death in Esquimalt last night.Officers have cordoned off an area near Grenville Ave. and Esquimalt Rd.

Photograph by: Bruce Stotesbury , Times Colonist

A man was charged Saturday night with second-degree murder in the death of a Langford father of three after a fight at an apartment in Esquimalt.

Officers arrived at the three-storey apartment building at 614 Grenville Ave. about 9 p.m. Friday after receiving reports of a stabbing.

Cliff Antonsen, a 57-year-old Langford man, was unresponsive on the floor in the middle of what a police spokesman described as a chaotic scene involving several people.

Officers performed CPR until paramedics arrived. The man’s brother, Lyle Antonsen, who lives in the apartment building, was also injured. Both men were taken to hospital, but only Lyle would survive the night.

A team of police, including the canine unit, was called in to comb the neighbourhood for a suspect.

Victoria police officers arrested a 49-year-old man Saturday morning in the same area of town.

Darrell Wayne Johnson has been charged with the second-degree murder of Clifford Roy Antonsen and the assault of Robert Lyle Antonsen.

Johnson was remanded in custody at a tele-bail hearing Saturday night.

He will appear in Victoria provincial court on Tuesday.

Police would not confirm the time of the arrest, but employees at the nearby Tudor House Pub, at Esquimalt and Admirals roads, heard sirens Friday night and again about 7 a.m. Saturday.

Another brother, Eric Antonsen, walked up Grenville Avenue on Saturday morning to find yellow police tape cordoning off the building where Lyle lives.

“I have to take my son out tonight and tell him his uncle’s dead. I don’t know how to do that,” Eric said.

“I’m just here trying to find out what all happened. What went down?”

Cliff was reportedly visiting Lyle on Friday night. Police say all three of the men involved in the fight knew one another.

The assault was not believed to be targeted.

Police would not confirm the type of weapon used.

“I hear [Lyle’s] got minor injuries, so that says to me that my brother Cliff stepped in and took it,” Eric said, noting Cliff was like that — he would step in to break up fights all the time.

Eric, 44, said he looked up to his older brother, who was married with three daughters.

“My dad was 40 when I was born and my brother was 13 years older than me … so he was basically a surrogate father to me,” he said.

He and his family hope answers to their questions about what happened will come soon.

Police spokesman Const. Mike Russell could not confirm whether there was a party in the building, but said there were quite a few people in the suite when officers arrived.

The Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit and Victoria police detectives are leading the investigation.

dspalding@timescolonist.com

— With a file from Sandra McCullocch

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