‘Terrible, terrible thing’: Former coaches of accused Salmon Arm shooter shocked

Matrix Gathergood, 25, excelled in football, rugby during his time at Salmon Arm Secondary

Matrix Gathergood in his 2012 Salmon Arm Secondary graduation photo.

The man accused in the shooting death of a church elder at the Salmon Arm Church of Christ on Sunday, April 14 once excelled as an athlete at Salmon Arm Secondary.

Matrix Gathergood, now 25, stands charged with first degree murder in the killing of Gordon Parmenter, 78, as well as aggravated assault and disguising his face with the intent to commit an offence.

Gathergood played several sports, including football, rugby and wrestling. His coaches are shocked by the charges.

Ray Munsie, who coached him in wrestling, is shaken.

“Wrestling is a tremendously transformative sport, more than any I’ve been involved in,” says Munsie, who has coached high school wrestling since 1972 and worked with 13 Olympians.

“Kids don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care,” he says, his voice breaking. “My ability to transform his character, to build his character, I failed. I’m so sad for everyone involved. When you get so deeply invested in kids… This is a terrible, terrible thing.”

He describes Gathergood as strong, powerful and very tough, but also mean if he knew he was better than somebody.

“He had issues for sure, but I would never have seen this coming. When you say he’s been charged, I could never have predicted that.”

Read more: Man charged with first-degree murder in Salmon Arm church shooting

Read more: Man killed in Salmon Arm church shooting remembered as father figure to many

Read more: Former foster child lovingly remembers Salmon Arm shooting victim

Read more: City of Salmon Arm flags fly at half mast as city mourns church shooting victim

Greg Seed coached Gathergood in rugby.

“That’s a bit of a shocker; I don’t know what to say,” said Seed, a teacher at SAS.

“I coached him for a couple of years in high school. In Grade 8 he was a phenomenal player – fit, athletic, a huge positive influence on the team.”

Seed described him as “a force to be reckoned with” on the field, strong and solid with a love for tackling the opposition. Seed says he saw him more recently at a wedding and he was different; it appeared he was “not heading down the most academic path.”

Seed said Gathergood’s father drove him and his brother to football and rugby practices, and he said the Gathergoods and Parmenters both lived in Silver Creek, not far apart.

SAS teacher Rob Neid coached him in football and describes him as a good athlete.

“He did well in the sports that he played,” Neid said Monday.

In 2011, Gathergood was featured in the Salmon Arm Observer when he had advanced to the final stage of try-outs for Team BC.

Asked his reaction to the charges, Neid said: “It’s a pretty sad story. I lost touch with him when he left high school. I know he was dealing with some things. I don’t really know him anymore.”

The allegations against Gathergood have not been proven in court.


@SalmonArm
marthawickett@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

 

Just Posted

Curling Club comedy “Right on the button” for Vernon

Western Canada Theatre production throws humour into the mix of immigration

Missing Vernon man possibly sighted in Lower Mainland

Information leads family, friends to believe Jay Rosenberger near Lower Mainland Saturday

Museum digs up history for ’60s Vernon Winter Carnival

Get Groovin’ with the Grandkids or flashback to the ’60s with tunes, trivia and costumes

City of Enderby apologizes for cemetery damages

‘Very disrespectful’: Headstones at Enderby cemetery damaged by excavation crew

Two-month-old Kelowna boy diagnosed with rare heart disorder returns home from treatment

Arel spent two weeks at B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver after suffering multiple cardiac arrests

WATCH: Cougar caught on doorbell cam in Vernon

Glenn Gorham shares footage of late-night visit from wild cat

House fire quickly knocked down in South Kelowna

According to Kelowna Fire Department, the house sustained interior damage during the blaze

Prolific South Okanagan criminal will be freed for time served

Afshin Ighani pleads guilty to assault charges but will be set free for time served

Sap thief taps Saanich park maple trees, faces hefty fine

One tree found with four taps in Mount Doug Park

Shuswap man given six months jail time for possession of child pornography

Forty-six-year-old will be on National Sex Offender Registry for 20 years

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

Power outage at Big White

It’s unknown why the power went out Tuesday afternoon

Uber threatens legal action to ‘defend its right’ to operate in Surrey

‘I have no concerns,’ Mayor Doug McCallum replies

Victoria resident says WestJet employee uttered racist comment, refused to let her on plane

Customer claims she was told ‘You guys can’t handle your alcohol’ by WestJet employee

Most Read