BY SHANNON DUFF
MILVERTON – The loss of a young Perth East woman has left a hole in the collective heart of a community.
Nicole Wagler, 17, died last Tuesday evening in a shooting at an Edward Street home in Milverton.
Police report that OPP officers responded to a 911 call about 10 p.m. on Dec. 4. There, they discovered Wagler’s body and another male victim suffering life-threatening injuries. The male was rushed to London Health Sciences hospital.
A second male was arrested at the scene.
A strong outpouring of support for those affected has resulted. Many were quick to comment on Wagler’s sense of friendship, and how much she will be missed.
“Nicole you were amazing, everyone will miss you, we all loved you,” wrote the creator of a Facebook page called You Will Never Be Forgotten Nicole Wagler, who was a friend of the young victim.
Wagler attended Stratford Northwestern Secondary School where she took part in wrestling.
Police lay charge of first-degree murder
The OPP reported last week that members of the Ontario Provincial Police Crime Unit, under the direction of the OPP Criminal Investigation Branch – Detective Inspector Hillman, have charged 23-year-old Michael Schweitzer of Milverton with first-degree murder and attempted murder. He appeared in Stratford court where a publication ban was imposed on the case.
The male victim was identified as 22-year-old Tyler Baker from Milverton. He remains in London hospital.
Police presence was strong Wednesday morning following the shooting, with the property cordoned off and investigators donning forensic suits working on the case.
Residents of the Edward Street neighbourhood called the home a party house and said there’d been conflict between the homeowner and at least one of the other neighbours. Police had been known to break up parties.
“There were a lot of parties,” said another neighbour. “With more than just alcohol.”
Baker reportedly shared the home with Schweitzer.
According to their online profiles, both Baker and Schweitzer graduated from Stratford Northwestern Secondary School in 2007. Both men, as well as Wagler, were all friends with each other on Facebook.
_____ Kees Winjands with the Perth County OPP said Friday the investigation is ongoing, and will take time. Few details are being released due to the publication ban, he said. At the time, the house at 11 Edward St. was still locked down and guarded by officers.
“It’s tough for a community like this,” Wijnands said. “Everybody knows everybody. Everybody knows this girl.”
Anyone with information regarding the person responsible for this incident is asked to contact the OPP Criminal Investigation Branch at 1-888-310-1122, or their nearest police authority.
Should you wish to remain anonymous you can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), where you may be eligible to receive a cash reward of up to $2,000.