Kamloops shootings ‘were targeting specific people,’ police say

Interview with friend of Kamloops homicide victim Rex Gill
WATCH: An interview with Matthew Baran, a friend of Kamloops homicide victim Rex Gill. On Wednesday, Gill, 41, was shot outside his hotel and later died at Royal Inland Hospital.

The identities of two men killed in separate shooting incidents on Wednesday in Kamloops were released by police on Thursday.

The victims were Cody Mathieu, 31, of Kamloops, and Rex Gill, 41, of Penticton.

The shootings took place in separate locations.

READ MORE: UPDATE: Penticton man identified as Kamloops shooting victim

Mathieu was found lying outside the Super 8 Motel in Valleyview at 6:50 a.m. First aid was given, and Mathieu was transferred to hospital. Gill was found outside the Comfort Inn and Suites in Aberdeen at 8:25 a.m. First aid was given, and he was also transferred to hospital.

Kamloops RCMP Insp. Steve MacLeod during Thursday’s press conference.
Kamloops RCMP Insp. Steve MacLeod during Thursday’s press conference. CFJC

In a press conference on Thursday afternoon, Kamloops RCMP Insp. Steve McLeod said Mathieu was known to local police, while Gill was not. McLeod said it wasn’t known whether the two victims knew each other.

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McLeod says more than 50 investigators are looking into the shootings, though the investigations are just beginning. He added that it’s believed the shootings were related to organized crime.

READ MORE: Condolences pour in for Penticton man shot dead in Kamloops

“Through our investigation, we know that organized crime was behind this violence, and we will be addressing it as such,” said McLeod. “We will be focusing on identifying, targeting and apprehending the suspects responsible for these crimes.

“Any violence in public spaces is dangerous, but we believe both yesterday’s shootings were targeting specific people.”

Police said witnesses at the Comfort Inn described a white car at the scene and that a white car was later found burning that afternoon in Barnhartvale, east of Kamloops.

McLeod said police “front-end loaded this file with significant resources to make those links to any organized crime activity going (on) either in the Kamloops area or within the region and to look (at) how that may play a part in this investigation.”

McLeod also said that a shooting in Kelowna on Wednesday afternoon was not related to the two Kamloops shootings.

Gill’s ex-wife wrote on social media that he had just moved to Kamloops for an employment opportunity.

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