Salmon Arm  

'Shock and disbelief'

UPDATE: 5:34 p.m.

A small memorial of flowers is building outside a church in Salmon Arm where a fatal shooting occured.

Yellow police tape hung around the Church of Christ as investigators worked inside.

The B.C. Prosecution Service has named Matrix Savage Gathergood, 25, as the suspected shooter.

He is facing charges of first degree murder in the death of Gordon Parmenter, 78, and was also charged with aggravated assault and disguising his face with intent to commit an offence.

Salmon Arm residents visited the church on Monday afternoon that is guarded by numerous RCMP cruisers and dropped off flowers to let the church community know they are thinking of them.

“I just wanted to do something,” said one resident named Lynne.

The body of Parmenter was removed from inside the church on Monday afternoon.

Alan Harrison, the Mayor of Salmon Arm said the community is reeling and will spend today grieving.

“We couldn’t believe this has happened, especially in our little town and today,” said Harrison. “There is a feeling in the air of shock and disbelief.”  

Parmenter is being remembered as a foster parent, someone who gave back to the community and a very respected person.

“We are reeling, we live in a very safe place and to having something like this happen here is shocking to all of us,” said Harrison.

Many who knew Parmenter say he was very caring and opened his home to many in the community.

“His role was a role of helping individual and helping in the community,” he says.

Harrison says the charges against Gathergood brings solace to the members of the community.

UPDATE 12:47 p.m.

The BC Prosecution Service has identified the man suspected of shooting a man to death in a Salmon Arm church Sunday.

Matrix Savage Gathergood, 25, is facing charges of first degree murder in the death of Gordon Parmenter, 78, during a church service.

Gathergood was also charged with aggravated assault and disguising his face with intent to commit an offence.

A small B.C. town is reeling after a shooting in a church left an elder dead and another injured.

A 25-year-old man entered the Church of Christ in Salmon Arm during an event at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, and shot two of the parishioners.

Gordon Parmenter was shot to death at the church.

“Many knew him as Poppa and many went to bed dreaming of him last night,” said Nicolette Anne.

A foster child, who can't be named, says Parmenter helped him discover his potential.

Parmenter and his wife Peggy are being described as very caring people. They had four children. They are also hosts of foster children who benefited from their home and teachings.

Police surrounded the church at about 10:30 a.m. Air ambulance transported one person to hospital.

The suspect was wrestled to the ground by a number of parishioners and a rifle was seized.

Police arrested him and charges are pending. His identity has not been released but police say the suspect knew at least one of the victims.

A GoFundMe campaign has been created to help his grieving wife.

“We lost a husband, a father (of various manifestations grand, great grand, foster, and father to some who are fatherless), our friend, our mentor and our patriarch,” said Anne.

Parmenter is being remembered for having a powerful impact on all who knew him.

“If you knew him you know of his love and his affection fuelled by his faith in Jesus Christ,” said Anne. “This was a senseless event. We regard his attacker and his family with love, not hostility as Jesus loved those who nailed him to the cross.”

Parmenter’s home was destroyed by a fire in March 2018 and also both the vehicles at their home had their tires slashed.

“It is not believed at this time that the event was religiously motivated,” said Sgt. Scott West.

Officers continue to investigate.


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