West Kelowna  

Two years after Kenneth Craig was fatally shot, his father is still seeking answers

No answers in son's murder

Kenneth Craig was fatally shot on the side of West Kelowna's Highway 97 two years ago, but his father and former partner still don't know why.

Kenneth and his partner were biking along the highway near Elk Road just after 4 a.m. on March 21, 2021, when he was shot and killed. Police closed down the highway for several hours to collect evidence, but two years later, no suspects have been publicly identified.

And Kenneth's father Tim Craig remains frustrated and heartbroken.

“I haven't heard anything from [the RCMP] in well over a year,” Tim said from his home in Summerside, Prince Edward Island. “We reached out quite a while ago ... they said the person working the case would call us back but we never heard a darned thing.

“The thing is, you can't get any closure. I go to his grave once a week to spend time with him, but he shouldn't be there. He was only 35 when he was shot.”

On Saturday, the woman Kenneth was with on the night he was murdered wrote a lengthy post on Facebook, detailing the circumstances of the killing. Tim says he didn't know many of the details the woman recently disclosed.

She and Kenneth were unhoused in 2021, dating and living in a tent together. The woman, who's requested anonymity for safety reasons, says the two of them were out collecting bottles on the night in question, “minding our business.”

“As usual, we were laughing and enjoying our time together, tho we didn’t have most basic needs like food, a home, and other things of luxury,” she wrote.

The two men, who appeared to be in their early 20s, began mocking and yelling at them for no reason, she said, and then started to follow them along the highway.

“I told Ken to just ignore them. He did,” she wrote. “And when we got across the highway, they came running down the other side towards us yelling like they were trying to start something.”

She says she was getting nervous, but Kenneth told her to wait where she was while he went to talk with the men.

“He ran across to the guys and some words were exchanged (I don’t know what was said) and then Ken shoved one of the guys back,” she wrote. “Within a half a second of that shove, the second guy pulled out a giant gun ... and BAM BAM BAM shot him more than once at close range in the chest.

“I started screaming 'No! No! NO! No! No!!!!!!!!' as I ran as fast as I possibly could to Ken, who was swaying around with a look of fear I have never seen on his face before. As I almost got to him, the killers ran across the opposite way I was running at the same time as me, and they shot at me another six times, trying to kill me too. I didn’t get a look at their faces because I was just rushing to Ken's side, the love of my freaking life.

“I sure damn hope he heard me say 'I love you so much.' And 'you’re the strongest man I know' because he said that was what got him through his hardest times and I just wanted him to feel comfort as much as possible.”

She's now urging anyone with any information about those who killed Kenneth to come forward.

“It’s killing me to go thru this again but justice for him and the ones who love him is all we need now,” she wrote.

She says Kenneth was always ready to stand up for people who needed it, and she misses the nights they would spend together laughing.

"He’d have everyone’s back, which is why I want people to remember that about him, because now we need them to have his back to give him justice," she told Castanet.

"He was the softest tough guy I’ve ever known, blushing when he’d tell me how pretty I was even though I was dirty and weathered from life on the streets ... He made my hardest times easier just by being there, he projected safety and love. That was all I desperately needed."

The Kelowna RCMP were not able to provide any update Monday on the investigation into the murder.

The day of the shooting, police told Castanet the incident had “the characteristics of a targeted shooting." But Tim and the woman don't believe Kenneth knew his killers. Tim remains frustrated with the lack of progress he's seen with the investigation into his son's death.

“If [Kenneth] wasn't homeless, or if he had money, they would have caught the guys by now. But because he's homeless, they just don't bother,” he said.

Kenneth's former partner, who has since left the Okanagan and no longer lives on streets, says Kenneth deserves justice like anyone else.

"Homeless people are loved too. We are human beings who are important as anyone in this world of any colour, race, sexuality, status and gender," she said. "We shouldn’t let it slide because of the fact that we were homeless, because that’s someone’s brother, son, soulmate, best friend and father."

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