The family of a woman who died on Salt Spring Island Monday says she was “ambushed” by her estranged husband in a murder-suicide.
In a statement, the family identified the two as Jennifer and John Quesnel.
“He couldn’t stand to see her happy and if he couldn’t be happy, neither could she,” reads the statement.
“It was a selfish act by a coward and bully and committed in the most cruel and pre-meditated way.”
According to the family, Jennifer had recently left her husband following an 18-year-marriage fraught with abusive and controlling behaviour.
She was staying with her brother “and was the happiest she had ever been,” but had returned to the family home to collect some belongings and visit her horse, says the family.
Jennifer had believed John would not be at the home at the time, and while she had originally arranged for an RCMP escort, had changed her mind, believing her ex wouldn’t be a threat.
The family says John’s firearms had also been confiscated.
“Unknown to Jennifer, John had parked in a secluded area nearby and hid himself from view armed,” reads the statement.
“He ambushed her without warning shooting her twice and then turning the gun on himself. She passed away en route to the hospital and fought hard for her life.”
The family says it is releasing the statement in order to clear up rumours about what happened.
Quesnel leaves behind three sons, her family said.
“Jennifer was taken from us and her 3 boys during a time of renewed hope and possibilities and was excited for what her future held,” reads the statement.
“She was a gentle and loving mother, friend, daughter and sister to everyone who knew her. She was everything that was good about people.”
RCMP have confirmed that they were called to a home on Fulford Ganges Road just before 5 p.m., Monday, where they found a 48-year-old man dead and a 41-year-old woman suffering from serious injuries.
The Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit is investigating, but police said they are not looking for any suspects, there is no danger to the public and no charges are anticipated in the case.
The B.C. Coroners Service is also investigating.
An online fundraiser for Jennifer Quesnel’s sons has since raised nearly $100,000.