Thursday, December 24, 1998
Student 'genius' stabbed in bar
By MARIA MCCLINTOCK, SUN MEDIA
OTTAWA -- A University of Ottawa computer engineering student was stabbed through the heart trying to break up a fight in a bar early yesterday, hours before he planned to drive home for Christmas.
Andrew Moffitt, 23, of Brockville, who has been described as an academic "genius," was stabbed once while he was at the front door of Coyotes Bar about 12:40 a.m.
He was dead within an hour.
The third-year student had been celebrating the last day of exams with his roommate and other friends.
Police said a fight broke out on the second floor of the bar while Moffitt and his friends were downstairs.
Another confrontation began downstairs and when Moffitt tried to break it up, he was stabbed once, major crimes Det. Dale Hayes said.
His attacker then fled the bar.
A 25-year-old Ottawa man is expected to be charged with the murder this morning.
The weapon used in the attack has not been recovered although regional police were conducting extensive searches of the area throughout the day.
Randy Way, who lives near the bar, returned home at 2:30 a.m. to find three police cruisers parked out front.
"When I saw the three police cars and the yellow tape, I suspected that something serious had happened," said Way, 36, who has lived in the neighbourhood for five years.
"It's a sad deal at Christmas that some parent, somewhere, is going to get this sad message."
Moffitt's devastated mother, Paulette, said police officers arrived at their home at 4 a.m. to deliver the horrible news.
"I thought maybe it was a car accident but never this," she said, her voice choked with emotion.
"We just hope justice prevails because that's all that can happen. Your children aren't supposed to die before you."
An avid golfer who played the game whenever he could, Andrew was very close to his other two brothers - Rod Jr., 27, and 11-year-old Mike.
"The three of them e-mailed each other all the time," said Paulette.
Andrew was hoping to finish his degree early so he could start a full-time job at Nortel, where his older brother also works as an engineer.
"It doesn't make any sense. He was a quiet person," added relative Ian Moffitt. "He was a genius. His IQ was phenomenal."
Although everyone in the family is shellshocked by the tragedy, Paulette said young Mike is taking the loss of his older brother particularly hard.
"I told him that Andy was going to be his guardian angel."
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