Family, police appeal for help in case of man severely injured in West End attack
Published Tuesday, December 24, 2019 11:13AM PST Last Updated Monday, January 27, 2020 8:36AM PST
VANCOUVER -- The family of a Vancouver man critically injured in a vicious assault has gone public with an appeal for witnesses and for help with medical and legal costs.
Andrew Kurra, 46, was walking in the West End near Davie and Thurlow Street around 1 a.m. on Nov. 30 when police say he was attacked.
Kurra’s sister Pam Loewen, who has been at his bedside for weeks, told CTV News her younger brother’s injuries are so severe that police have still been unable to interview him.
“His eyes are open,” Loewen said. “It looks like he can see you and follow you. But we have no idea who’s inside there right now. We don’t even know if he knows who he is.”
Loewen described her brother, who grew up in Metro Vancouver and had moved back from Toronto a year ago, as an “extremely generous” and “super kind” man who “loved making friends wherever he went.”
She can’t understand why someone would have attacked him, then left him lying on the sidewalk.
“What they did literally destroyed his life,” Loewen said. “They didn’t just have a small altercation…they almost killed him.”
She added that while Kurra is gay and she worries he might have been targeted, there’s no way to be sure because after two surgeries, including one that removed Kurra’s frontal lobe to save his life, he still can’t communicate.
Police said they believe the perpetrator walked away north on Thurlow Street with two other people.
Loewen said she understands investigators are looking for two men and a woman recorded on surveillance video so grainy, police couldn’t make out their faces.
Sgt. Aaron Roed of hte Vancouver Police Department said so far, there are no suspects.
“We’re asking for anyone who was in the area, if they did see anything, we are asking them to come forward,” Roed said, adding that the investigation is ongoing and “very active.”
Loewen said her family still doesn’t know if Kurra’s condition will improve further, but expects if he does, he’ll be spending a couple of years in hospital.
“The attack…left Andrew with severe brain injuries,” she wrote on a GoFundMe page she set up for her brother. “He is expected to survive but the trauma has left him with a lifetime of rehabilitation and care.”
Anyone who has information can call the Vancouver police at 604-717-2541 or can make an anonymous report to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.