Those who were in Uniacke Square in Halifax after a fatal shooting Monday night say emergency crews took too long to arrive at the scene.

Police received several reports of shots fired on Cragg Avenue in central Halifax shortly after 11 p.m. Monday.

Officers responded to the area and found a man suffering from life-threatening injuries outside a home. The victim was later identified as 58-year-old Terry Izzard.

But witnesses say Izzard was very much alive when police arrived.

“(Police) ran by Terry. Terry was laying right there and he was saying, ‘help me,’” said Izzard’s friend Cortrell Thomas. “The ambulance sat (outside Uniacke Square), they wouldn't come in."

Residents say Halifax Regional Police officers arrived quickly, but are upset with efforts from emergency crews.

"(Police arrived in) five minutes tops. Literally immediately. But the ambulance, it took at least 40 minutes," said neighbour Tiffany Crawford.

But police say that’s not the case.

"I would like to confirm that is 100 per cent inaccurate," said Const. Phil Power of Halifax Regional Police.

Const. Power insists ambulance crews were not held back and officers were on scene within two minutes.  

“As soon as (officers) arrived on scene, we immediately called for EHS then we updated EHS one minute later to state that we actually did not want them to stage, we wanted them to immediately come to the scene,” said Const. Power. “From there, EHS arrived and treated Mr. Izzard."   

“The Izzards were good people and Terry did not deserve this way to go,” said Izzard’s friend Vivian Wilson. “Terry never hurt a soul. God love him. I hope he's up there with his dad and his brother."

Izzard’s friends say he was a hard worker who was loved by neighbourhood kids. He lived a healthy lifestyle and wanted nothing to do with drugs.

A makeshift memorial and impromptu wake has sprung up in honour of the man who was truly loved.

“He was a good guy,” said Helen Williams. “I don't understand why anyone would take his life just to take it.”

Terry Izzard’s funeral will be held on Monday.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Bruce Frisko.