Vigil held to honour young homicide victim in Williams Lake

Mourners gathered for a ceremony May 11 at the site of the stabbing of a young man on Midnight Drive in Williams Lake. (Ruth Lloyd photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Mourners gathered for a ceremony May 11 at the site of the stabbing of a young man on Midnight Drive in Williams Lake. (Ruth Lloyd photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
A ceremony was held Wednesday, May 11, in Williams Lake for a 19-year-old victim of a recent homicide. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Cecil Grinder spoke to mourners at a ceremony held on May 11 at the site of a recent stabbing of a young man in Williams Lake. (Ruth Lloyd photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Flowers are placed on the side of Midnight Drive. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Flowers are placed on the side of Midnight Drive. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Cecil Grinder spoke to mourners at a ceremony held on May 11 at the site of a recent stabbing of a young man in Williams Lake. (Ruth Lloyd photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
On Friday, May 6, RCMP cordoned off a portion of the 300 block of Midnight Drive, where a man was found suffering from stab wounds last Thursday evening. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)On Friday, May 6, RCMP cordoned off a portion of the 300 block of Midnight Drive, where a man was found suffering from stab wounds last Thursday evening. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Mourners placed flowers and candles at the roadside on Midnight Drive in Williams Lake near where a young man was reportedly stabbed. (Ruth Lloyd photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Mourners placed flowers and candles at the roadside on Midnight Drive in Williams Lake near where a young man was reportedly stabbed. (Ruth Lloyd photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Mourners embrace at a ceremony on May 11 at the site of a stabbing on Midnight Drive in Williams Lake. (Ruth Lloyd photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Mourners embrace at a ceremony on May 11 at the site of a stabbing on Midnight Drive in Williams Lake. (Ruth Lloyd photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
RCMP officers enter a home on Midnight Drive Tuesday afternoon, May 10. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)RCMP officers enter a home on Midnight Drive Tuesday afternoon, May 10. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Bouquets of flowers lay on the grass in the 300 block along Midnight Drive Tuesday, May 10, where late Thursday night (May 5), residents and emergency responders in Williams Lake rushed to help a victim suffering from stab wounds.

Witnesses told Black Press Media that before emergency crews arrived Thursday night, motorists in the residential area parked two vehicles to block off the street to protect the victim, who was laying in the road.

Other witnesses said they observed a police officer performing CPR on the victim while another officer led a woman away from the scene just after midnight.

Despite the efforts of all involved the victim, a 19-year-old man originally from Tl’etinqox First Nation, died as a result of the injuries, and became Williams Lake’s second homicide victim of 2022.

Tl’etinqox Chief Joe Alphonse confirmed the victim was the second person from his community to be murdered in Williams Lake in 2022.

“The aftermath of incidents like this are pretty traumatic for families and for young people to lose friends in that way. We encourage anyone who knows anything to come forward.”

Alphonse said everyone wants to live in a community that is safe for all families.

“We cannot expect the RCMP or others to do that for us. Every one of us has an obligation and when something like this happens the people who are responsible need to be held accountable.”

Too often when deaths occur in his community the trauma is not discussed, he noted.

“People end up carrying those traumas for a long, long time.”

Tuesday afternoon several RCMP officers, some wearing white suits, arrived just down the block from the original scene and entered a home located about 100 metres from where the victim was found.

So far police have released few details about the death, or whether they have a suspect or suspects in custody.

Through a news release, RCMP have asked residents in the area for any video or dashcam footage taken Thursday night between 9:30 and 11:30 p.m.

RCMP have also continued to canvas residents in the neighbourhood.

The RCMP North District Major Crime Unit is conducting the investigation, working closely with the Williams Lake RCMP and BC Coroners Services, police noted Saturday, adding early indications suggested that this was a targeted attack.

Around 60 people attended a ceremony in the 300 block of Midnight Drive Wednesday afternoon, May 11.

Tl’etinqox spiritual leader Cecil Grinder placed candles directly on the road.

He smudged the area and then sprinkled water he had collected from a spring on the Sheep Creek Hill west of Williams Lake, while women led some drumming songs.

READ MORE: RCMP seek witnesses in Williams Lake homicide



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