Seventeen years after one of Canada’s worst mass murders, Vernon community members and families are remembering the victims.
On April 5, 1996, nine members of the Gakhal and Saran families were gunned down by the husband of Rajwar Gakhal.
The tragic incident occurred after Gakhal told police and those around her about the physical abuse she was experiencing at the hands of her husband.
A candlelight vigil was held Friday night, as it is each year, to honour the lives that were lost that day, but also to encourage action to help women who are experiencing domestic violence.
Rajwar Gakhal’s family said they wants the community to realize this is not an issue only her family deals with.
The murders devastated and shocked the community and the memory of what happened still remains with residents.
Three years ago, Vernon residents formed a committee comprised of various local agencies with social workers and police to assess high risk cases with hopes to prevent violence.