'He Was A Superhero': Friends Remember Murdered Australian Lucas Fowler
The Sydney man brutally murdered alongside his American girlfriend in Canada has been remembered by his close friend as a “superhero” -- the kind of person who jumped at the chance to help his mates.
Sam Shattock, who befriended Lucas Fowler in a Year 9 science class, said his mate was kind, friendly, supportive of everyone he knew, and an avid Taylor Swift fan.
Fowler's death has “shattered” his family, Shattock said, and he’s “waiting to wake up and find out it’s a nightmare. But it’s not.”
Fowler, the 23-year-old son of NSW Hills District Chief Inspector Stephen Fowler, and his girlfriend Chynna Deese, were found shot to death on a remote British Columbia highway on Monday. The pair had been travelling together in a blue 1986 Chevrolet van, which was found nearby.
NSW Assistant Commissioner Mark Jones said Australian police have been told the young couple was shot in “what can only be described as horrific circumstances”. Police said Fowler and Deese were killed between July 14 and July 15.
The pair was last seen alive by motorists Sandra Broughton and her husband Curtis, who said it appeared the couple’s van had broken down along the side of the road, 20km south of the famous Liard hot springs on the Alaska Highway.
“We just saw their van on the side of the road and we saw the young couple, and the van’s hood was up,” Broughton said.
“This makes my heart so sad. We saw the blue van broke down on our journey home on Sunday, and we stopped and asked if they needed help. I can’t believe that this young couple are dead now.”
Shattock said friends and family of Fowler are struggling to understand why something like this happened to a person like Lucas, who would have been the first one to offer help to anyone who needed it.
“Everyone wants to know the answer to the question ‘why?'” Shattock said. “He was such a friendly guy, he was kind to people he didn’t even know. It’s surreal. You don’t ever think it’s going to happen to people like Lucas, but it happened.”
He said Fowler was always the first one to help his mates.
“Man, if you needed help he would have been there. Our mates’ cars have broken down and he was just there straight away, not even a second thought, he just came and arrived. He was a superhero.”
When Shattock heard the news of his friend’s death, he broke down.
“I was balling my eyes out,” he said. “My boss just said go home. I couldn’t talk for about three hours.
“He was one of those friends you think you’re going to be with until you’re 80. Just always happy and helpful and a great guy to talk with, always had time for you.”
Shattock said he never got the chance to meet Fowler’s girlfriend Chynna, but that Fowler was looking forward to ending his travels and coming back home, so she could meet his friends.
“He loved her,” Shattock said. “It was his first girlfriend, and she meant a lot to him. We were just waiting for him to come back, and I was going to meet her and see the person who tamed Lucas, and got to spend time with him.”
He said Fowler loved to do a Shoey, and was always egging him on to join him.
“I always said no, but I think I’m going to have to do one very shortly just to show him I can do it,” he said.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have a launched a homicide investigation, but denied reports suggesting the murders may be the work of a “serial killer”.
“At this point we have nothing to indicate that their deaths are linked to any other active and ongoing investigations in that area of the province,” Janelle Shoihet of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said.
Fowler’s family has left for Canada to bring their son home to Australia. In a statement they said, “To lose someone so young and vibrant, who was travelling the world and just enjoying life to the full, is devastating.”
Two detectives from the State Crime Command’s Homicide Squad have joined Canadian authorities to act as liaisons and support.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on Friday said it was offering consular assistance to the family of an Australian man who died in Canada.
"Due to our privacy obligations we will not provide further comment," a DFAT statement said.
Shattock said if he could tell his friend one last thing, it would be:
“I love you, and I hope to see you one day again. I'm waiting to hear it’s all a joke and see you, but I don’t think that’s possible. I’m waiting to wake up and it’s a nightmare. But it’s not.”