April: Shooting spree leaves four dead

Looking back at our biggest stories from each month in 2019

Four dead in Penticton shooting spree, one in custody

Four people were shot and killed in Penticton after a man with a gun went on a killing spree in two neighbourhoods on April 15.

Police are saying the victims and the suspect, who surrendered himself at police headquarters, are known to each other.

“It’s an ongoing investigation – we will look at the motive and what he was thinking, why this happened and what his motivations were,” said Supt. Ted De Jager later that day once the man was in custody. “We are glad he did this, because the community isn’t on pins and needles, and that the community isn’t worried that someone who did something this tragic and horrific is out on the streets. Now he is not and that is a good outcome from an investigation perspective.”

De Jager said the community was very respectful to police who shut down the city for several hours while the incident unfolded.

“Everyone stepped up, they were calling us; they were helping the police. They were bringing water to those on the scene and supporting some of the people who saw what happened, they stood by and gave support,” he said. “That is the strength of the community.”

Investigation restrictions were in place in the 2400 block of Cornwall Drive and the 400-block of Heales Avenue near Lakeview Street for a number of days following the incident.

Penticton Speedway revved up to celebrate 50 years

The racing season kicked off with an event celebrating the Penticton Speedway’s 50th anniversary on April 28.

“This is a big year for us, we are celebrating our 50th anniversary and we will complement the year with events including the Gordy Mannes Memorial Weekend, bull riding, Hit to Pass flying destruction night,” said Penticton Speedway spokesperson Johnny Aantjes.

Aantjes added that to celebrate the anniversary, the speedway’s theme for the StreetStock race event is 50 cars for 50 years, making it the biggest StreetStock race to take place in Western Canada.

“Victoria, Penticton and Agassiz are the stronger street stock tracks in the province and they all participated in this event,” said Aantjes. “Penticton is a beautiful spot people love to come here and go racing. We have a good race track, we have really good community support and great sponsorship. We have worked really hard to keep racing alive in Penticton, we’ve been at this location going on 21 years now.”