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Family and friends speak out after man's death in Sault Ste. Marie ruled a homicide

Family and friends speak out after man's death in Sault Ste. Marie ruled a homicide

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mi (WPBN/WGTU) -- A medical examiner confirmed on Thursday that John Henry Hanover's death was a homicide, caused by blunt force trauma to his head.

It news that's leaving friends and family in shock.

The Sault Ste. Marie Police say they responded to a disturbance almost two weeks ago outside a bar downtown, and that one of the men involved passed away.

Friends and family have identified the man as 66-year-old John Henry Hanover.

"My heart sank, said Linda Hoath, Hanover's cousin.

Hanover was celebrating his 66th birthday in downtown Sault Ste. Marie when he became involved in that disturbance.

“All the stuff that’s been said, we don’t know what’s true," Hoath said. "None of us were there, but it’s just like, why? You know, senseless. Why? Why did this happen to such a good man? I have to let you know that Johnny, when his mother had Parkinson's disease, Johnny took care of his mother until the day she passed.”

John's also had many friends from local motorcycle clubs.

Some of them are also having a tough time believing this happened.

“I like to refer to him as a gentle giant," said Scott LaCoursiere, one of John's friends and fellow club members. "He was a guy that, when he walked into a room, he would instantly brighten it with his smile. You meet him once, and the next time you meet him you better expect a hug, because that’s just the kind of guy he was.”

One of the clubs, The Reguladores Gichigami Chapter, has been selling buttons with John's initials on them to help raise money for his family.

So far they've raised about 600 dollars.

No one has been charged with committing Hanover's homicide.

“I don’t know if I’ll ever have closure," Hoath said. "He’ll always be with us. He’ll always be with us. He’ll never be apart from us."

"It's unforeseen." said LaCoursiere. "It was a tragedy that no one expected. And the way with what happened, it’s just a senseless thing that, a piece of us and this community is lost now.”

Police and the county prosecutor's office still aren't saying much about the investigation, or even confirming John Henry Hanover was the person who died.

There will be a funeral for Hanover on Tuesday.

About 150 motorcycles are expected to ride in the procession.

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