Retired city worker charged with murder after deadly shootings in Penticton

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Retired city worker charged with murder after deadly shootings in Penticton

by - 3 min read

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A suspect has been charged with murder after a shooting spree that left four people dead in Penticton, B.C., on Monday.

John Brittain, 60, has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder. Brittain, a registered engineer in B.C., worked in development services for the City of Penticton until his retirement in 2016.

Police forensic officers investigate outside a home near Lakeview Street And Heales Avenue in Penticton, B.C. on Monday. A suspect has now been charged in connection with the shooting that left four dead. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Two women and two men were killed in three different locations in the city during an hour-long shooting spree that began around 10:30 a.m. PT Monday, and ended with the suspect turning himself in at the front desk of the local RCMP detachment.

The victims all knew each other and their alleged killer, RCMP Supt. Ted De Jager told reporters later Monday. Investigators believe the shootings were targeted.

Mounties were expected to provide an update on the investigation to reporters at 11 a.m. PT.

Police forensic officers investigate near Lakeview Street and Heales Avenue on Monday evening. One man was found dead outside a home after the shooting earlier in the day. (Mike Zimmer/CBC)

Police were first called to the area of Lakeview Street and Heales Avenue, a residential neighbourhood blocks from Okanagan Lake, after locals reported that a man had been shot.

As officers were en route, they received a second call that another person had been shot further south in the city. The public was asked to avoid the downtown area entirely, or stay indoors if they were already there. 

De Jager said a 60-year-old man matching the suspect’s description turned himself in at the RCMP detachment on Main Street at 11:27 a.m. PT.

Danny Herron and his son, Hayden, live near the Lakeview Street crime scene. (Brady Strachan/CBC)

Investigators did a sweep of the downtown area after the suspect was arrested and found four bodies in three places. One person was found dead along the Lakeview Street, while three others were found in a suburban area around Cornwall Drive.

Paramedics responded, but all four people died.

On Monday, police said they hadn’t determined a possible motive for the killings.

Three people were found dead in the 2400 block of Cornwall Drive after the shooting spree ended on Monday morning. RCMP say the three people, as well as another victim found further north in the city, all knew each other. (Dominika Lirette/CBC)

Penticton sits between the southern bank of Okanagan Lake and the northern shore of Skaha Lake, with a population of 30,000 that swells with tourists during its hot, dry summers.

Shelly Halvorson, who was at work near Lakeview Street during the incident, said she was shaken up after hearing “four or five pops” and seeing a man lying across the front lawn of a home.

“This is a little too close. I’ve never experienced this,” she said during a phone call Monday. “I’m not comfortable at all.”

Danny Herron, who lives near the Lakeview Street crime scene, said it was a frightening hour.

“It’s an eye-opener for everybody,” he said. “When it continued on, I thought, ‘What’s going on here? Is this guy on the loose? Is he shooting randomly?’ You just don’t know.”

This story originally appeared on CBC

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