Alleged Salmon Arm church shooter charged with first-degree murder
UPDATE: RCMP say their investigation at the site of a murder in Salmon Arm includes other possible interactions between the accused, Matrix Savage Gathergood, and the victim, Gordon Parmenter.
“Salmon Arm RCMP are completing a number of tasks, including speaking with all possible witnesses and anyone who may have information related to incident,” Salmon Arm RCMP head Staff Sgt. Scott West said. “Road and access restrictions to the church remain in place as Forensic specialists are continuing to process the scene.
“There is no timeline as to when police will have completed all required investigative steps.”
WATCH BELOW: A Salmon Arm man say his father, a church elder, was fatally shot during Sunday service.
Police said their priority is to capture relevant facts and evidence toward their criminal investigation without disruption.
“Additional resources have been called in to support the ongoing investigation and officers will be looking at any and all previous investigations or interactions with the accused and the victims to determine their relevance to the ongoing fatal shooting investigation.”
RCMP say the victim’s family has been overwhelmed by media requests and have asked for privacy at this time.
Matrix Savage Gathergood, 25, has been charged with murder in connection to the alleged shooting of a church elder in Salmon Arm, B.C. on Sunday morning.
Gathergood faces charges of first-degree murder, aggravated assault and disguise with the intent to commit an indictable offence.
RCMP confirm the accused appeared in court by phone Monday morning. He has been remanded into custody.
Gathergood will appear in Salmon Arm provincial court on April 23.
WATCH: Gunfire rang out during Sunday services, leaving a man dead. Jules Knox reports live from Salmon Arm
Salmon Arm RCMP say the attack happened during an event at the Church of Christ in the city about 100 km north of Kelowna, and investigators do not believe it was religiously motivated.
They said a man entered the church at about 10:30 a.m. and allegedly shot two congregants. One died at the scene, while the other was taken to hospital in stable condition.
Several other congregants wrestled the alleged shooter to the ground, police said, adding that officers seized a rifle.
Investigators say the suspect knew at least one of his alleged victims. Family members have identified the deceased victim as 78-year-old church elder Gordon Parmenter.
— With files from the Canadian Press
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