As the sun set over downtown Sarnia Friday evening, a moment of silence was held outside of Cowboys and Indians - that’s the Christina Street North store owned by Jim Wilson, who died after an altercation on Sunday.
Hundreds gathered including family, friends, and fellow merchants, as a vigil was held for 76-year-old Wilson. Local musicians provided the background music as those who knew him placed flowers and candles outside the storefront. Some wrote messages on the sidewalk in chalk.
Wilson’s son, Gabriel Wilson was overcome with emotion. At the show of support.
"It is so overwhelming and the community is mind-blowing, you know. Really, there’s no words that I can actually express to show my gratefulness."
Vigil organizer Cat Cabajar said it was important to remember someone who meant so much to the community.
"Everyone that knew him was impacted by the life that he had and the warmth and kindness. And so we’re coming together as a community and celebrating is life in the best way that we know how which is with music."
Wilson was found by police on Sunday outside of a College Avenue address after what police said was an altercation. He was pronounced dead in hospital.
According to a friend who spoke to CTV News, Wilson was attempting to retrieve a number of items stolen from his store, which friends say had been broken into five times in the past year.
A fellow merchant, Cabajar said by holding a vigil they wanted to show a united front.
"It’s so important as a community that we stick together and are there for each other."
Four people have now been charged with second degree murder in connection with Wilson’s death.
From family and friends, to fellow merchants, to motorcycle enthusiasts- a cross section of support was on hand to pay respects to Mr. Wilson, a member of the local First Nations Community.
Indigenous artist, Jeffrey George, also known as Red Dog, has work for sale in Wilson’s store.
"When I was just starting out as a starving artist he would really help me out and give me a chance, he said 'sure Jeffrey I’ll help you out'. He encouraged me to keep painting and keep doing artwork and do it from the heart."
Wilson is also being remembered as a loving father and grandfather, said his son Gabriel.
"A single arrow will break but a bundle of them is strong, and when you’re a family you’re strong."