The 53-year-old man who allegedly pulled a shotgun on a gas station employee and customer in Keremeos died over the holidays.
Jeffrey Deakin, 52, died on December 29 not at his residence in Olalla, Keremeos RCMP Cpl. Brian Evans confirmed.
Deakin was released from custody on Dec. 20 under strict house arrest conditions, which meant being in his home 24 hours a day, seven days a week, unless otherwise given permission from the court.
Andy Watson of the B.C. Coroner Service confirmed an investigation was ongoing on for a male in his early 50s that died on December 29, but would not confirm it was Deakin citing privacy issues.
“I can confirm the BC Coroners Service is in the early stages of its fact-finding investigation involving a male in his early 50s from Dec. 29 but due to the privacy of the deceased (per the Coroners Act and provincial privacy legislation) we cannot confirm or release identity,” an email from Watson stated.
“Our investigation will look to determine how, where, when and by what means the male came to his death.”
Deakin was alleged to be part of at least two high profile incidents in the latter part of 2018 in the Keremeos area.
On Dec. 9, Deakin is alleged to have pulled a shotgun on a gas station attendant and customer at Hilltop Esso in Keremeos. The incident happened around 6:45 a.m.
Allegedly Deakin had used his vehicle to ram and push another car at the pump more than 40 feet before it stopped across the street. When the attendant and customer heard the commotion they went outside. The gas station attendant told the Review, Deakin then drove his car back up to the gas station, pulled a shotgun off his lap, pointed it out the car window and pulled the trigger.
“I thought I was dead as soon as I saw the gun,” the attendant said a day after the terrifying incident.
It remains unclear if the gun backfired or was not loaded at the time. Deakin then fled the area.
RCMP later caught up with Deakin in Penticton and charging him with several crimes including careless use or storage of a firearm; pointing a firearm; possess a firearm w/o licence or registration; occupying a vehicle knowing firearm, etc. present and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle.
Only a short time before charges were laid, Deakin was involved in a police incident which caused Highway 3A to be closed for several hours at the end of November. At that time, he was taken under the Mental Health Act and treated in hospital for an unknown period of time before being released.