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

Date set for ‘demolition event party’ at Surrey’s Flamingo Hotel

Mayor McCallum to raise excavator bucket for the ‘ceremonial hit’ on the long-standing building

‘Chest Air’ show in Surrey for storyteller/author Ivan Coyote, prior to city’s Pride festival

‘I want to stop the gerbil wheel a little bit,’ says award-winning artist, who has moved back to Yukon

VIDEO: Life-threatening injuries in South Surrey motorcycle crash

Air ambulance dispatched following incident at 148 Street and 30 Avenue Monday

Threats charge against Surrey’s Jaspal Atwal stayed

Atwal, 64, was at centre of controversy in 2018 over his attendance at prime minister’s reception in India

Ladner church’s Pride flag defaced for second time in 12 days

Ladner United Church says it will continue to fly the flag for Pride month

PHOTOS: Elusive ‘ghost whale’ surfaces near Campbell River

Ecotourism operator captures images of the rare white orca

Victoria mom describes finding son ‘gone’ on first day of coroners inquest into overdose death

Resulting recommendations could change handling of youth records amidst the overdose crisis

Dash-cam video in trial of accused cop killer shows man with a gun

Footage is shown at trial of Oscar Arfmann, charged with killing Const. John Davidson of Abbotsford

Suicide confirmed in case of B.C. father who’d been missing for months

2018 disappearance sparked massive search for Ben Kilmer

Eight U.S. senators write to John Horgan over B.C. mining pollution

The dispute stems from Teck Resources’ coal mines in B.C.’s Elk Valley

Dinosaur statues from defunct Dinotown theme park stolen in Chilliwack

The dinosaur figures once graced the theme park but were destined for Chilliwack fundraiser

Langley’s oldest and last strip bar shuts its doors

The Alder Inn, in operation since 1957, has reportedly been purchased

Otters devour 150 trout at Kootenay hatchery

The hatchery has lost close to 150 fish in the past several months

Update: Two shot, two arrested at Toronto Raptors victory rally

The team and several dignitaries, including Justin Trudeau, remained on stage

Most Read