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Alleged Salmon Arm church shooter will face jury trial

Alleged killer heads to trial

The man accused of fatally shooting a 78-year-old church elder in Salmon Arm last spring will stand trial in front of a jury of his peers in BC Supreme Court.

Matrix Gathergood was arrested on the morning of April 14, 2019 after he allegedly walked into Salmon Arm's Church of Christ during a church service and shot two people inside, killing Gordon Parmenter and seriously injuring Paul Derkach.

On Tuesday, Gathergood waived his right to preliminary inquiry and consented to stand trial in BC Supreme Court for first-degree murder, although a trial date has not yet been set.

A preliminary inquiry is typically held to determine if the Crown has enough evidence to proceed to a trial.

The case has been put over to Feb. 4, 2020, when a trial date is expected to be set.

Last month, an additional arson charge was laid against Gathergood. He's alleged to have set fire to an occupied dwelling on March 14, exactly one month before the church shooting.

He's schedule to next appear in court on the arson charge on Jan. 7.

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