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Salmon Arm  

Foster child cried for hours

UPDATE 7:56 a.m.

A former foster child of a Salmon Arm, British Columbia shooting victim is remembering Gordon Parmenter as the man who helped him discover his potential.

The foster child, who can't be named, has identified Parmenter as the man shot to death Sunday at a church in Salmon Arm, about 100 kilometres north of Kelowna.

Salmon Arm RCMP confirm the shooting, which also seriously injured a second man in the church before other parishioners wrestled a 25-year-old man to the ground and held him until police arrived.

In a statement to The Canadian Press, the former foster child says he lived with Parmenter and his wife Peggy from 2012 or 2013 until he aged out of the system in 2017.

The statement says without Parmenter's help, he would never have completed high school, discovered his love of music or continued to college, adding that he wept for an hour upon learning of the death.

Charges are pending and police say the suspect knew at least one of the victims, but they note that the attack was not religiously motivated, nor has it created any ongoing risk to public safety.

-with files from Canadian Press


UPDATE: 5:45 p.m.

Police say the suspect in a fatal shooting at a church in Salmon Arm was not religiously motivated.

Church of Christ in Salmon Arm was hosting an event when a man allegedly entered the church and shot two of the parishioners.

Officers rushed to the scene just after 10:30 a.m. and immediately determined that two individuals were seriously wounded and required urgent medical assistance.

Paramedics were called to the church for two patients and they transported one man to hospital by air ambulance in stable condition.

One individual was declared deceased at the scene. Condolences have poured in online identifying the deceased as Gordon Parmenter, an elder at the church.

A 25-year-old man was wrestled to the ground by a number of parishioners and a rifle was seized.

He remains in police custody with charges pending.

"While the investigation is in the preliminary stages, there is no information to suggest there are any ongoing threats to public safety,” said Sgt. Scott West.

“Police have determined that at least one of the victims was known to the suspect, and it is not believed at this time the event was religiously motivated.”

RCMP have notified the BC Coroners Service and the next of kin notifications have been completed.

No information is being released by police about the victims at this time.

Salmon Arm RCMP, with the assistance of the Southeast District Major Crime Unit, are conducting the investigation.

Victim Services support has also been called in to assist with those impacted by the incident.


UPDATE: 4:45 p.m.

Condolences are pouring in online for an elder at a church in Salmon Arm after a shooting occurred in the small town.

Paramedics were called to the Church of Christ just after 10:30 a.m. on Sunday for two patients and they transported one man to hospital by air ambulance.

Reports indicate that Gordon Parmenter has died on Sunday. 

“No words to express our sorrow! Many, many prayers being lifted up for all of you! Gordon was a great man,” said one person on Facebook. “Our hearts are shattered.”

Another person said their hearts are heavy with the news.

“Our prayers are with the Parmenter family and all the congregation who witnessed this tragedy,” said another person. 

The church’s website says Parmenter was married to a woman named Peggy and together they have four children and numerous grandchildren.

One person is in custody at this time and police say the investigation is still in the early stages. 


UPDATE: 1:30 p.m.

Police are now providing more details about a serious incident that unfolded at a church in Salmon Arm on Sunday.

Cpl. Chris Manseau tells Castanet a man has been taken into custody after a "possible shooting" at a church. 

“The area is contained and we have an indication (that) there is no active or ongoing threat,” said Manseau.

Paramedics were called to the Church of Christ just after 10:30 a.m. on Sunday and say they transported one man to hospital by air ambulance.

“We had two patients and we transported one,” said Amy Robertson, spokesperson for BC Emergency Health Services.

Witnesses from the scene said people were visibly upset and crying outside the church.

“A lot of crying, and obviously upset people,” said one witness. "I overheard several people behind the RCMP tape say it was a shooting.”

RCMP have not confirmed if there was a shooting at the scene. BC Ambulance would not provide any further details about the injuries.

“We are at the very early stages of the investigation and will provide an update later today,” said Manseau.


UPDATE: 12:30 p.m.

Police are investigating after an incident at a church in Salmon Arm on Sunday.

One person was taken from the scene to hospital by air ambulance and officers have surrounded the Salmon Arm Church of Christ.

Witnesses at the scene describe people are visibly upset and crying outside the church.

Castanet spoke with an officer at the Salmon Arm RCMP detachment who said they are currently investigating at the scene of the church and will provide more details when they are finished.


ORIGINAL: 11:50 a.m.

An air ambulance helicopter has landed in Salmon Arm on Sunday morning and police have surrounded a church. 

Witnesses on scene say the MedEvac landed in Blackburn Park and paramedics entered the Salmon Arm Church of Christ.

One victim was seen being removed from the church and placed in the air ambulance. 

Unconfirmed reports indicate there might have been a shooting, but RCMP have not confirmed. 

“A lot of crying, and obviously upset people outside the church,” said one witness. "I overheard several people behind the RCMP tape say it was a shooting."

Castanet will update once more information becomes available. 



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