A person was shot while standing in a yard in Penticton. - Image: Kristi Patton

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

Vernon Vipers name Connor Marritt captain

Takes over from graduating veteran, and fellow Okanagan native, Jagger Williamson

Vernon pitcher tosses second no-hitter of season

Jarod Leroux has two no-nos in his last three starts for the BCPBL’s Okanagan Athletics

Okanagan-Shuswap Weather: Heat, sun and a chance of thunderstorms for Father’s Day

Morning pancake breakfasts and fishing derbies across the region will see sun, showers may follow.

The annual event takes place Sunday, June 23 at Creekside Park in Coldstream

Pre-registrations, sponsorships and donations for the CMHA annual Ride Don’t Hide event… Continue reading

Vernon seeks additional fetal alcohol syndrome support B.C.-wide

“We are making a difference but we could make even more of a difference”

VIDEO: Horseback riding helps North Okanagan residents with special needs

North Okanagan Therapeutic Riding Association needs more volunteers to continue offering sessions

Thunderstorm leaves small fire in the Shuswap in its wake

Wildfire crews are also fighting a small fire near Kamloops

South Okanagan pharmacy restricted from dispensing opioid treatment drugs

B.C. College of Pharmacists alleges Sunrise Pharmacy dispensed treatment drugs against rules

Police seek two suspects and car after stabbing in Kelowna

The stabbing took place on Friday evening on Wilson Avenue. It sent one man to hospital.

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Summerland Health Care Auxiliary completes hospital donation pledge early

$1M contribution to medical equipment campaign completed half a year earlier than expected

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Summerland ready for dry summer conditions

Province has declared Level Two drought, but Summerland has not increased watering restrictions

Summerland pioneers had connection to Middlesex, England

Harry Dunsdon and Richard Turner became cattlemen

Most Read