Four people killed in three places in Penticton; retired city worker charged (Tuesday update)

TUESDAY UPDATE:

Retired city worker John Brittain, 68, has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder. RCMP say the victims all knew each other and Brittain. But police have yet to determine a possible motive for the killings.

The Penticton RCMP later issued this statement: “We have just completed meeting with the families of the victims in Monday’s tragic shootings.   All supports have been offered.

“The families have asked us to convey that yesterday’s events and the loss of their loved ones is extremely difficult to comprehend.

“They are aware that there is significant interest in what took place and why.

“They are once again appealing to the media to please respect their requests for privacy at this time.  They have been troubled and stressed by media presence on their lawns and at their doors.

“They have no further comments to make at this time, and should they be in a position to do so in the future, they will reach out and connect with the media.”

 

RCMP in the Southeast District Police have determined that four people are dead at three locations within a 5 kilometre radius in Penticton.

On Monday, just after 10:30 a.m., Penticton South Okanagan Similkameen (PSOS) Regional Police officers were called to the area of Westminster Avenue and Haynes Street for a report that a man had been shot.

PSOS Regional Police officers with support from the RCMP Police Dog Service and RCMP Air Services immediately flooded the area in an effort to locate the male suspect. While police were en route, a second caller reported another person had been shot.

At approximately 11:30 a.m., a man matching the suspect’s description turned himself into the Penticton RCMP detachment. The man remains in custody while the investigation progresses. Preliminary indications are this was a targeted incident.

A thorough sweep of the area was conducted and police identified multiple locations in which there were several confirmed victims. Police have determined four people are dead. The BC Coroners Services has been notified. The identities of the deceased will not be confirmed unless there is an investigative need to do so, police said.

Penticton South Okanagan Similkameen (PSOS) Regional General Investigation Section (GIS) has lead on the fatal shooting investigation. Additional resources from the RCMP’s Southeast District, including investigators from the Southeast District Major Crime Unit (SED MCU), have been called in to assist.

The Southeast District Emergency Response Team was deployed near Skaha Lake Road and Yorkton Avenue for an unfolding incident. Police have determined that incident is not linked to these shootings. That matter has been resolved without any issues.

“I understand that this is a deeply troubling incident that has taken place in our community,” said Superintendent Ted De Jager, Penticton South Okanagan Similkameen Regional Detachment Commander. “Determining why this occurred is part of our ongoing investigation. Our hearts and thoughts are with all those impacted by this terribly tragic incident. Our priority now will be to speak with the families of those involved and offer our support.”

The general area restrictions in the City of Penticton have been lifted. Crime scene restrictions have been limited to the 2400-block of Cornwall Drive and the 400-block of Heales Avenue near Lakeview Street at this time.

 

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