N.S. construction site shut down after nail gun attack, police charges, and alleged racism, bullying

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Nhlanhla Dlamini, 21, went to a hospital in New Glasgow, N.S. after being shot in the back with a nail gun at a nearby worksite. He alleges he was shot intentionally by a coworker and RCMP have laid charges.

Nova Scotia RCMP have charged a 43-year-old man with criminal negligence causing bodily harm two weeks after a construction worker was shot with a nail gun in Pictou County in what he alleges was the culmination of racism and bullying by a colleague, CBC reports.

Police arrested Shawn Wade Hynes of Trenton on Sept. 27 and released on conditions to have no contact with the victim, RCMP said in a news release.

The employer, Paul Quinn, said he believed the shooting was accidental and wasn’t aware of any discrimination on his work sites until the claims surfaced in media reports.

In a news release issued on Oct. 10, Quinn’s lawyer, Craig Clarke, said his client has received “nearly constant threats to their safety and property” after being accused of fostering a work environment that allowed for Dlamini’s injury and the alleged discrimination.

Because of those threats, the Abercrombie work site where the incident took place was shut down, Canadian Press reported.

Police said the incident occurred Sept. 19 at a construction site, where there were witnesses. Someone filed a nail gun and injured a 21-year-old man.

“We were called while the victim was still in hospital and began our investigation from there,” said Cpl. Jennifer Clarke.

The victim, Nhlanhla Dlamini, previously told CBC News he was at a worksite in Abercrombie when a co-worker accused him of working too slowly before purposely aiming an air-powered nail gun at him and firing. Dlamini said his lung was punctured with a 3½-inch framing nail and required emergency surgery.

The shooting came after weeks of racially charged harassment by the same colleague, said Dlamini, who is black. Dlamini is employed by P.Q. Properties Ltd., which has not been charged.

“If we do receive information that would sort of spur more investigation we would certainly follow-up on that. But to date, this is the only charge we’ve laid,” the RCMP spokesperson said.

She said the RCMP has been working with the Department of Labour during the investigation.

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