"Chivalrous" Vince Li "Hugged Work Colleagues Goodbye" Before Walking from Job
An ex-work colleague at Clareview Wal-Mart has told the EDMONTON JOURNAL of how "Bus Beheader" Vince Li argued with customers and had "anger issues".
has become a familiar sight this past week in newspapers and on television.
But it's a jarring image for Renne, whose last memory of Li, her former co-worker at a northeast Edmonton Wal-Mart, involves a hug and a goodbye.
"On his last day, he came and gave us all hugs," said Renne, who asked to be identified only by her middle name for fear of losing her job. "He said, 'Bye, I'm going to miss you guys.' This was like five minutes before he walked out of the door and that was the last time I'd seen him -- except when he came up in the paper."
Li has lived in both Winnipeg and Edmonton and has worked as a forklift driver, janitor and newspaper deliverer. Up until about a month ago, Li worked at the Clareview Wal-Mart.
Renne has worked in Wal-Mart's bedding department for about four months now. She said Li worked in the adjacent automotive department and handled tires sales and invoices.
According to Renne, Li quit soon after getting into a spat with a customer. He was helping a man choose tires for his truck, and the customer disagreed with his advice.
"He said, 'Well, I'm not (expletive) that smart, you can't expect me to know everything,' " she said. "And then two weeks later, he gave his two weeks notice."
Renne said she saw Li get angry a few times with his customers. "He seemed really normal, just he had a little bit of an anger problem," she said. "Some customers just pissed him off."
Renne never saw Li lose his temper with co-workers, though. She describes him as a "really, really nice guy" who loved the country band Brooks and Dunn and drank his coffee with two creams and three sugars.
Li also had a chivalrous streak, she said.
"He wouldn't let a girl climb a high ladder to save your life. If he saw you (he'd say), 'Get down, I'll do it.' "
Although Li seldom smiled, Renne said he did crack a joke once that brightened her day. She also remembers him talking often about his wife Anna, although he never mentioned her by name. Li referred to her interchangeably as his "wife," "girl," or "girlfriend," and told Renne she kept him mellow.
"He said he missed her and loved her a lot, and that she was the best thing to have ever happened to him," Renne said. "He'd be like, 'I can't wait to get off my shift now so I can go see my girl.' "
When news of the Greyhound stabbing broke last week, Li's wife called the store to inform one of Li's closer friends, according to Renne. The few employees who know Li were stunned, she said.