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Survivor Stories: Court presence helping mom take control

24 hours

"Had I not left that day, it wouldn’t be Surrey Six it would be Surrey Seven." — Eileen Mohan

Eileen Mohan is still able to smile when she remembers her son Christopher — describing him as a “six-foot tall teddy bear.”

Exercising was everything to Christopher, who loved going to the gym and had plans to become a fitness trainer.

“He loved his six pack,” Mohan said with a laugh.

In fact, the 22-year-old was leaving the family’s apartment to play basketball as the drug-related execution was being carried out across the hall, according to the Crown in the Surrey Six trial — still underway in B.C. Supreme Court. Crown alleged the target was a drug dealer and that the five additional deaths were to “ensure there would be no witnesses” to the shooting. A repairman, Edward Schellenberg, was also murdered.

Mohan shared her story as part of a new video series called Aftermath of Murder: Survivor Stories, coinciding with National Victims of Crime Awareness Week, April 6-12. In the video, Mohan opens up about coping with her grief, and has strong words for the parents of gangsters.

Christopher was found lying face down, shot in the back of the head. The last image Mohan has of her son is his body frozen and sewn up from the autopsy. Unable to eat or sleep, her first instinct was vengeance.

“I felt like going and getting a gun myself and finding these people myself,” Mohan said.

Gradually, the desire for revenge dissipated, replaced with a quest for justice after losing the “love of my life.”

Mohan has been a constant presence at the Surrey Six trial and outspoken with the media. She said it’s her way of taking control.

“I want to be right there in their face,” Mohan said about confronting those accused of murdering her son.

It’s also helped her grief to advocate for changes to how victims are treated in the courtroom, as she is pushing for a space that offers privacy to victims struggling while sitting through a trial.

She has a named all picked out for it: “Christopher’s quiet room.”

If you or someone you know has been affected by homicide go to the B.C. Victims of Homicide website at for resources and information on support groups.

Aftermath of Murder Survivor Stories is produced by Brent Stafford, Shaky Egg Communications Inc. and 24hrs Vancouver columnist.

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