B.C.’s deadly past: Penticton shooting one of the worst massacres in provincial history

A 60-year-old man has turned himself into police

Four people are dead and the community of Penticton is reeling after what has become the sixth deadliest massacre in modern B.C. history.

The killings started in the Okanagan city’s downtown Monday after a witness told police a man was shot while standing in a yard.

In the hours that followed, another man and two women were killed in a multi-hour shooting spree before the 60-year-old suspect walked up to the front desk of a Penticton RCMP detachment and surrendered to police.

RCMP have remained tightlipped over the killings, but say the alleged perpetrator and victims knew each other and the public is not at risk.

READ MORE: Four dead in Penticton shooting spree, one in custody

It was the worst shooting the province has seen since the Surrey Six killings in 2007, where two innocent victims were killed along with four involved in the Lower Mainland’s drug war.

Only on four other occasions have more than four people been killed in a single incident in B.C.:

April 5, 1996 – Mark Chahal

Nine people were killed went Mark Chahal walked into his family’s wedding in Vernon and opened fire. The Gakhal and Saran families had been preparing for a wedding when the husband of one of the women arrived at a home on Okanagan Avenue and began shooting. Chahal, who had been estranged from the family, killed Karnail and Darshan Gakhal; son Jaspal; daughters Balwinder, Kalwinder, Harvinder, Rajwar and Jasbir Saran; and son-in-law Roger Saran.

Aug. 2, 1982 – David Shearing

David Shearing killed six members of the Johnson-Bentley family while they were camping in Wells Grey Provincial Park, about 20 kilometres north of Clearwater. Shearing, who pleaded guilty to the murders two years later and was sentenced to life in prison, had stalked the family for two days before he shot grandparents George and Edith Bentley and their daughter Jackie Johnson and husband Bob.

Shearing held Janet, 13, and Karen, 11, hostage while sexually assaulting the oldest. He then killed both.

David Shearing (a.k.a David Ennis) is shown in a 1983 file photo. (The Canadian Press)

Aug. 28, 1972 – William Bernard Lepine

William McConnell, then 27, killed six people and wounded three in Kettle Valley after escaping from a Riverview Hospital, a now-defunct psychiatric hospital in the Lower Mainland. He was found not guilty by reason of insanity and sent to a psychiatric hospital.

Sept. 4, 1970 – Dale Nelson

Dale Nelson, of Creston, killed eight people, and partially consumed one, after what police described as a drinking binge and possible use of hallucinogenic drug LSD. The then-31-year-old was sentenced to life in prison but died of throat cancer in 1999.

Dale Nelson. (Wikimedia Commons)


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Final Home Grown performance of the season

JOHN ALLEN Mistress of Ceremonies Margaret Moe led off the evening by… Continue reading

Immunization catch up program launching

Kimberley schools sending information to parents

East Kootenay snow pack below normal

The April snow survey and water supply bulletin from the BC River… Continue reading

Quilt of Valour presentation

Cindy Postnikoff of Military Ames says that it was an honour and… Continue reading

Know It All: Kimberley Cranbrook entertainment guide

Art exhibit in the showcase at Kimberley Public Library Fourteen paintings have… Continue reading

UPDATE: Four victims identified in deadly Penticton shooting spree

John Brittain, 68, faces three counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder

Prince George sweeps to first-ever BC Hockey League crown

Spruce Kings beat Vernon Vipers 3-1 in the Okanagan Wednesday for 13th straight playoff win

Hwang’s first MLS goal lifts Whitecaps to 1-0 win over LAFC

Vancouver picks up first victory of season

Child-proof your windows ahead of warm weather: B.C. expert

Fifteen children were taken to BC Children’s Hospital for falls in 2018

B.C. trucker pleads guilty to lesser charges in fatal Manitoba crash

Gurjant Singh was fined $3,000 and given a one-year driving prohibition.

Study links preschool screen time to behavioural and attention problems

The research looked at more than 2,400 families

More than $100,000 raised for family of professional skier who died near Pemberton

Dave Treadway leaves behind his pregnant wife and two young boys

BC SPCA asks public for donations after puppy caught in trap

The puppy’s medical bills are expected to amount to more than $4,600

B.C. party bus monitors required to watch for booze, drugs on board

New rule in time for grad outings, minister Claire Trevena says

Most Read