Matrix Savage Gathergood is facing three charges after he allegedly shot two people at a Salmon Arm church.
Salmon Arm RCMP reported on Sunday that the 25-year-old suspect entered the Church of Christ around 10:30 am PST on Sunday, April 14th. They claim that he entered the building and shot two of the parishioners.
As identified by the Church, 78-year-old Gordon Parmenter died on scene while the other victim remains in hospital in stable condition.
Gathergood was arrested by police after reportedly being wrestled to the ground by a group of churchgoers. He has since been charged with first-degree murder, aggravated assault, and disguising his face with the intent to commit a crime.
Following his first appearance in Salmon Arm Law Courts Monday morning, his next scheduled date is Tuesday, April 23rd.
Salmon Arm RCMP Staff Sergeant Scott West does not believe the shooting was religiously-motivated and that there are no ongoing threats to public safety.
He says that, while he appreciates that there is a lot of public interest around the investigation, police remain limited with what they can share at this time.
"Our priority is to ensure we capture the relevant facts and evidence to support a judicial proceeding and we must ensure that the information gathered is not negatively impacted,” says West. “Additional resources have been called in to support the ongoing investigation, and officers will be looking at any and all previous investigations or interactions with the accused and the victims to determine their relevance to the ongoing fatal shooting investigation.”
West adds that at least one of the victims knew Gathergood.
Road and access restrictions to the church remain in place while Forensic Specialists work to complete their investigation, although no exact timelines for when this will be have been declared.