B.C.’s deadly past: Penticton shooting one of the worst massacres in provincial history

A 60-year-old man has turned himself into police

Four people are dead and the community of Penticton is reeling after what has become the sixth deadliest massacre in modern B.C. history.

The killings started in the Okanagan city’s downtown Monday after a witness told police a man was shot while standing in a yard.

In the hours that followed, another man and two women were killed in a multi-hour shooting spree before the 60-year-old suspect walked up to the front desk of a Penticton RCMP detachment and surrendered to police.

RCMP have remained tightlipped over the killings, but say the alleged perpetrator and victims knew each other and the public is not at risk.

READ MORE: Four dead in Penticton shooting spree, one in custody

It was the worst shooting the province has seen since the Surrey Six killings in 2007, where two innocent victims were killed along with four involved in the Lower Mainland’s drug war.

Only on four other occasions have more than four people been killed in a single incident in B.C.:

April 5, 1996 – Mark Chahal

Nine people were killed went Mark Chahal walked into his family’s wedding in Vernon and opened fire. The Gakhal and Saran families had been preparing for a wedding when the husband of one of the women arrived at a home on Okanagan Avenue and began shooting. Chahal, who had been estranged from the family, killed Karnail and Darshan Gakhal; son Jaspal; daughters Balwinder, Kalwinder, Harvinder, Rajwar and Jasbir Saran; and son-in-law Roger Saran.

Aug. 2, 1982 – David Shearing

David Shearing killed six members of the Johnson-Bentley family while they were camping in Wells Grey Provincial Park, about 20 kilometres north of Clearwater. Shearing, who pleaded guilty to the murders two years later and was sentenced to life in prison, had stalked the family for two days before he shot grandparents George and Edith Bentley and their daughter Jackie Johnson and husband Bob.

Shearing held Janet, 13, and Karen, 11, hostage while sexually assaulting the oldest. He then killed both.

David Shearing (a.k.a David Ennis) is shown in a 1983 file photo. (The Canadian Press)

Aug. 28, 1972 – William Bernard Lepine

William McConnell, then 27, killed six people and wounded three in Kettle Valley after escaping from a Riverview Hospital, a now-defunct psychiatric hospital in the Lower Mainland. He was found not guilty by reason of insanity and sent to a psychiatric hospital.

Sept. 4, 1970 – Dale Nelson

Dale Nelson, of Creston, killed eight people, and partially consumed one, after what police described as a drinking binge and possible use of hallucinogenic drug LSD. The then-31-year-old was sentenced to life in prison but died of throat cancer in 1999.

Dale Nelson. (Wikimedia Commons)


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Solidarity demonstration planned for Abbotsford on Friday

People gathering to protest police brutality and systemic racism in downtown Abbotsford

Fraser River freshet peak is coming soon

Predictions for 2020 by River Forecast Centre has the freshet peak at the Mission gauge for June 4-5

PHOTOS: Harrison Hot Springs Resort reopens

Reopening both celebrated and sombre as Harrison opens up again

Chilliwack youth planning solidarity march against racism

Organizer hoping to ‘create a type of a energy in the city that we will not be silent about racism’

VIDEO: Fraser Valley Bandits super fan celebrates 100th birthday

Abbotsford resident Gladys Sautter surprised by Bandits representatives on big day

VIDEO: A Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The importance of accurate, ethical reporting is critical – perhaps as never before

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

RCMP, coroner investigate ‘unexpected deaths’ on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

NDP getting COVID-19 wage subsidy ‘indirectly,’ B.C. Liberal leader says

B.C. NDP says Andrew Wilkinson is wrong about federal link

Parent, superintendent, trustee report smooth return to classrooms in B.C.

The biggest challenge is convincing families that it’s safe, some say

Two more COVID-19 cases reported by Langley long term care facility

One resident, one staffer have tested positive for the coronavirus

Most Read