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Hundreds of people gather outside Fredericton courthouse in support of St. Mary's First Nation man


A group of about 200 people shared in a drumming circle and held hands and signs outside Fredericton’s courthouse on Monday in support of a 71-year-old man who died on Friday.

Mark Albert Brooks, known by the St. Mary’s First Nation (Sitansisk) as Barnzie, was found with critical stab wounds around 11:10 p.m. Friday evening. Fredericton Police say they were responding to a “fight-in-progress.”

Two 17-year-olds appeared in Fredericton court on Monday via video conference for their bail hearings. Both hearings were adjourned until July 2 to allow the youth to secure counsel.

One has been charged with second-degree murder, the other with aggravated assault.

Brooks’ family, along with members of the community, stood outside afterward holding hands in a circle around the entire front of the courthouse.

People hold hands and form a circle outside of the Fredericton courthouse on Monday. (CTV/Laura Brown)Chief Allan Polchies Jr. says Brooks was an elder in the community, as well as a father and grandfather.

“Barnzie had a heart of gold, would never hurt anyone. This time of year he would offer to mow lawns, was always walking through the community,” Chief Polchies said.

Two people hug outside of the Fredericton courthouse as they show support for Mark Albert Brooks who died on Friday. (CTV/Laura Brown) He said the number of people who came out “in solidarity” shows how loved Brooks was.

“When we got word of it late Friday night you could just feel it in the community,” he said. “We just want to ensure that his children, his grandchildren, his family are supported.”

The two charged cannot be named as they are protected under the Youth Criminal Protection Act.

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