There is an outpouring of grief on social media as friends and family mourn the sudden passing of 42-year-old Rex Gill of Penticton, B.C.
Gill was the victim of a suspected homicide in Kamloops, B.C. on Wednesday morning. He suffered gunshot wounds outside his hotel and died at Royal Inland Hospital shortly after.
Gill leaves behind two children.
“The unthinkable happened today. I lost my first love and the father of my children,” his ex-wife wrote on Facebook.
She told Global Okanagan that Gill had recently moved to Kamloops for an employment opportunity.
He spent several years as the bus operator for Coyote Cruises, which is owned and operated by the Penticton Indian Band.
The business provides flotation devices and a shuttle bus service so tourists can float the Penticton River Channel, a popular summer tourist attraction.
Former Penticton city Coun. Max Picton said Gill offered him his first job.
“I’ve known Rex since I was 13 years old so back in ’93-’94. He gave me my first job at Coyote Cruises back in the day and took me under his wing. He treated me like a little brother,” he said.
“Super great smile, really easy going, extremely confident and charismatic, just always happy and always positive.”
Picton said he is shocked by Gill’s passing.
“We lost a really great guy. I don’t think anybody that ever had the pleasure of meeting him would say any differently. His positivity and his smile went a long way with a lot of people. He is going to be missed.”
Travis Kruger, former Penticton Indian Band councillor, wrote on Facebook that Gill loved motorcycles, hunting, fishing and boating.
“You always had my back. You showed me what a real investment in people could turn into,” he wrote.
Gill does not have a criminal record and has also faced a few speeding infractions, according to court records.
Police have not said if the violence is connected to drug or gang activity.
Gill was one of two men shot dead at two separate hotels in Kamloops on Wednesday morning.
Police have not arrested any suspects. A news conference is scheduled at 2 p.m. to provide any additional information that becomes available.