John Brittain, 68, is charged with three counts of first degree murder and one count of second degree murder as a result of the incidents that occurred on April 15, 2019. (Western News file)

One year later after the tragic shooting spree in Penticton

April 15, 2020, marks one year since a shooting spree, which left four dead, shook Penticton

It’s been one year since a shooting spree shook the community of Penticton, and one year later the trial for the man charged remains ongoing.

‘Community reeling after shooting spree’ reads the front cover headline of the Penticton Western News on Wednesday, April 17, 2019.

At the time, RCMP called it a ‘dark day’.

John Brittain, a former engineer with the City of Penticton, is charged with three counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder in connection with the shootings that left Darlene Knippelberg, Susan and Barry Wonch and Rudi Winter dead.

It was previously reported that Brittain, 68 at the time of the shootings, knew the victims, who were all in their 60s and 70s.

The initial call of shots fired was reported to police around 10:30 that morning. The front page of the April 17 Penticton Western News reads:

A man working at a nearby business said he heard several loud noises then went outside to see what was happening and saw the alleged shooter walking up the street with a long gun in his hands.

Following this, RCMP said they believed the shooter then drove to Cornwall Avenue where he shot three more people and two different residences.

Police arrested Brittain at 11:27 a.m. when he arrived at the detachment in his vehicle and turned himself in.

RCMP had explained that they were glad Brittain did this.

“This devastating and catastrophic news has shaken everyone who calls Penticton home or who regularly visits our beautiful community,” wrote mayor John Vassilaki at the time.

“Yesterday (April 15, 2019) marked an unfortunate chapter in our community’s history, but it also demonstrated our commitment to each other through acts of assistance and compassion in the aftermath of tragedy,” he said.

On March 17 a candlelight vigil was held to honour the victims.

Then on April 20 of this year, Brittain was scheduled to appear in Penticton Supreme Court on fix a date for trial.

However, Supreme Court is among the many things put on hold due to COVID-19. In March the Supreme Court of Canada issued a statement saying cases previously scheduled for hearing in March, April and May are adjourned, tentatively, to June 2020.

On April 2, the Honourable Chief Justice Hinkson suspended regular operations of the Supreme Court of British Columbia at all of its locations to protect the health and safety of court users and to help contain the spread of COVID-19.

It is possible Brittain’s appearance will also be put on hold, however, more information will be known closer to the scheduled date.

In March the Western News reported that the trial for the accused Penticton shooter was anticipated to take four weeks.

READ MORE: Anticipated four-week trial for accused Penticton shooter

Breaking coverage from the day of the shooting can be found here.

@PentictonNews
editor@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CrimePenticton shooting

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Petition seeks to clean up Okanagan forests ‘carpeted’ with shotgun shells

Penticton man says making shot-gun shells refundable would create cleaner forests

Eco-friendly bus service seeks to add Kelowna to Osoyoos route

Bus would stop in Kelowna, West Kelowna, Peachland, Summerland, Penticton, Kaledan, Oliver, Osoyoos

Kelowna trial date set for Penticton quadruple-homicide

John Brittain’s jury trial will commence on Oct 5, 2020 in Kelowna

Small business owner makes big donation to Penticton Food Bank

Across the country, more people are becoming reliant on food bank’s amid COVID-19

COLUMN: The gentle art of the disagreement

Differing opinions can work as a strength

Video: Okanagan mayors encourage water conservation this summer

Water conservation this summer could be more important than ever, experts say

Parking lot patios a go in Vernon

Council votes in favour of allowing businesses to expand commercial space into on-street parking spots

Shuswap cabin owner disputes request to stay home in Alberta

Alberta resident redrafts response to CSRD request to stay home

Kelowna’s main drag will be closed to vehicles this summer

Kelowna’s Bernard Avenue will be a pedestrian-only roadway from June 29 through the Labour Day long weekend

Vernon gym knocked out by COVID-19

9Round Fitness in Vernon Square Mall owners announce permanent closure of facility

Snapshot: Distanced dancing in Salmon Arm

Friends use picnic shelter at Blackburn Park for safe practice

Kelowna’s Homebase Baseball Tournament cancelled

A live auction will still take place to raise funds for Joeanna’s House

Kelowna General Hospital Foundation launches fundraising initiative to support local health care

The initiative also highlights workers at Kelowna General Hospital

Kelowna man charged with harming a hamster

The 20-year-old Kelowna man faces several animal cruelty charges

Most Read