Canada Who was Samuel Maloney? London, Ont., student shot dead by police was an enigma living a double life

19:06  09 january  2017
19:06  09 january  2017 Source:   National Post

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A London Police Service cruiser is pictured in this undated photo. (Facebook). - Ontario's police watchdog has released the name of a man who died after being shot by London police . The Special Investigations Unit says 35-year-old Samuel Maloney was shot after a confrontation with police at a London home. The agency says Maloney was pronounced dead at the scene, and at least one officer was injured in the incident.

A fixture at dorm parties and other student events, Samuel Maloney led a busy social life at his Western University residence. Though the first-year computer science student was almost twice as old as his teenage friends at Western’s Ontario Hall — he told them he was 21 — Maloney was fitting in well. But the 35-year-old — the man shot dead by London police in a standoff two days before Christmas — had been secretly living a double life .

Samuel Maloney © Hanout/National Post Samuel Maloney

LONDON, Ont. — A fixture at dorm parties and other student events, Samuel Maloney led a busy social life at his Western University residence.

Though the first-year computer science student was almost twice as old as his teenage friends at Western’s Ontario Hall — he told them he was 21 — Maloney was fitting in well.

But the 35-year-old — who was shot dead by London police in a standoff two days before Christmas — had been secretly living a double life.

While soaking up the campus life at school, he owned a house just a short drive away in London’s Old South neighbourhood, where his common-law wife and their newborn baby lived.

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So, who exactly was Maloney?

A Postmedia investigation reveals there were many sides to the computer programmer killed during the pre-dawn police raid Dec. 23 at his home at 56 Duchess Ave., after a crossbow was fired at an officer. Police had arrived at the house with a search warrant. The fatal shooting — London’s first by police in 17 years — remains under investigation by Ontario’s police watchdog agency, the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), and police aren’t talking.

Maloney, those who knew him say, was a talented computer programmer. He was a father trying to raise his two young kids organically and privately behind closed curtains in the heart of London, where his unkempt property drew the attention of the city’s bylaw-enforcement office.

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I told them they were not allowed to cut the grass and to leave because they were trespassing … but they were too keen on murdering our grass and harassing my family

To neighbours, Maloney was an enigma, a mysterious figure rarely seen outside his red-brick bungalow that police also raided in 2007, seizing four weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition. Charges against Maloney in that case were ultimately withdrawn.

Online, Maloney was an anti-establishment, free-speech promoter whose postings under various handles included rants on such topics as immigration, racial mixing and so-called white genocide.

And then there was Maloney the Western freshmen, an outgoing student who never let anyone step foot inside his dorm room.

Maloney grew up the oldest of four brothers in Newmarket, a commuter town on Toronto’s outskirts, where he met his lifelong partner, Melissa Facciolo, in elementary school.

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“They were sweethearts in Grade 7,” said Maloney’s father, Peter, who now lives in St. Thomas.

Maloney and Facciolo moved to London in 2004. Maloney worked various jobs in the tech industry, while Facciolo ran a successful graphic design business from their home.

From the outside, life appeared to be going well for the young couple until 2007, when police seized the large weapons cache, including four loaded guns and 13,000 rounds of ammo.

The weapons were legally registered but not properly stored, police said at the time. Maloney, then 26, was charged with five counts of unsafe storage of a firearm and ammunition.

The 2007 seizure came after Canada Border Service Agency officers tipped off London police about two people they arrested trying to bring 22 banned, high-capacity ammunition magazines into Windsor. Facciolo, then 25, was charged with smuggling prohibited goods. After pleading guilty in 2008, part of her sentence was a 10-year ban on owning any weapons or ammo.

Over the past few years, Maloney worked to create an open-source program called MORPHiS. He also created a spam-free email system available on MORPHiS.

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“If MORPHiS is successful, I believe it has the potential to connect us all on a trust-based system via the next generation of the Internet, depracating (sic) necessary evil, making mass government surveillance impossible …” text on the website reads. “I am doing this all for free for all humanity because I hate evil.”

The anti-government stance appears in online chats with Maloney’s name, talking about life without government surveillance and ranting about racial mixing and white genocide.

Neighbours described Maloney as reclusive and said they rarely saw him outside the house, where, they say, the blinds were always drawn, the lawn rarely cut and the garbage always overflowing.

Maloney’s unkempt property drew the attention of city bylaw officials, who paid the house a visit last summer with police backup.

A blog post dated Dec. 17 describes the incident and contains photos of Facciolo with her infant strapped to her chest, surrounded by police and city workers outside.

“I told them they were not allowed to cut the grass and to leave because they were trespassing … but they were too keen on murdering our grass and harassing my family,” the post reads.

Maloney had another run-in with authorities on June 19, when police were called to the Hindu Cultural Centre in London.

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Priest Pandit Durgesh Tiwari said a visibly distraught man entered the centre while a study group was in session. The man was offered water and stayed until it was time to lock up the building before the group called paramedics, who alerted police after arriving.

Maloney was charged with one count of obstructing police, two counts of assaulting police, mischief valued at less than $5,000 and failure to leave a premises. Those charges were still before the courts at the time of his death.

Another blog entry dated Dec. 17, apparently from Maloney’s partner, says he went to the cultural centre to learn more about religion, but became dehydrated after jogging there. The entry says Maloney refused treatment from paramedics and was violently arrested by police while returning home. Photos of a bruised Maloney accompany the post.

Maloney’s father said his son’s interest in eastern religions was part of the reason for enrolling at Western in 2015, saying he chose to live in residence to stay focused on his school work.

“He was searching for God,” the elder Maloney said of his son, who was raised Catholic.

I never really saw him in class, but I didn’t think that was weird because a lot of people in computer science never go to class

Fellow computer science student Katherine Zambrano, who lived in Ontario Hall with Maloney, said she first met him at a party.

“I never really saw him in class, but I didn’t think that was weird because a lot of people in computer science never go to class,” she said.

Maloney always attended residence parties and social events, said Zambrano. Several people who knew Maloney from his time at Western said he told them he was in his early 20s and never mentioned his family.

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In the early morning hours of Dec. 23, residents on Duchess Avenue say they saw around two dozen tactical officers swoop in on Maloney’s house.

A London police officer leaves the home where Samuel Maloney died. © Mike Hensen/Postmedia Network A London police officer leaves the home where Samuel Maloney died.

As police moved in, Maloney called his lawyer, Nick Cake, who told him to put his hands up.

Cake said he heard shouting from an authoritative male voice and Facciolo screaming before four shots rang out.

Sources say an officer was shot with a crossbow during the confrontation. The officer, who had minor injuries, was struck in the chest but saved by the protective Kevlar vest worn by emergency response team members.

Facciolo, 35, was arrested on charges of possession of a weapon and ammunition while prohibited, related to the crossbow, and spent Christmas in jail.

Peter Maloney said he and his wife cared for the couple’s young children — a two-year-old son and a six-month-old daughter — until his daughter-in-law was released on bail Dec. 29.

Now staying with her father in Newmarket, Facciolo couldn’t be reached for comment.

London police won’t reveal any details about why they were at Maloney’s house on Dec. 23, citing the SIU investigation.

Police were there to serve a warrant, but no other details are known because the warrant is sealed.

Less than two weeks before the raid, police launched a cyber investigation after a movie theatre’s website and email was hacked by someone who posted a racist manifesto and linked to an anti-Semitic video on MORPHiS.

The name at the bottom of the manifesto, which included a rant against the mixing of races, was Sam Maloney.

The SIU remained inside Maloney’s home until last week. The agency has said three officers are subjects in its investigation and 18 others are witnesses.

Inside the house, Maloney’s blood stains the walls and contents are strewn about from the police search, said his father, who wouldn’t talk about his son’s mental health.

But the grieving father said he’s desperate for answers and wants to know why so many officers raided a house with young children inside.

“I’d like to know why there was 21 police. Sounds like overkill, doesn’t it?,” the elder Maloney asked. “He’s not a terrorist.”

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