Memorial for slain hockey mom grows as search for suspect continues
Published Wednesday, January 1, 2014 11:58AM PST
Last Updated Wednesday, January 1, 2014 7:00PM PST
A memorial is growing outside of a Newton arena as residents continue to grieve over the savage killing of a Surrey hockey mom.
Family, friends and strangers laid down flowers and notes at the makeshift memorial Wednesday, all at a loss to understand the senseless attack that eventually claimed Julie Paskall’s life.
Paskall’s daughter laid down a bouquet of flowers at her mother’s memorial with a note reading “Mom, I love you. R.I.P.”
The 53-year-old was waiting for her referee son to finish officiating a minor hockey game Sunday at Newton Arena when she was brutally beaten in a seemingly random attack.
Investigators said Paskall’s assailant may have struck her with a rock that was found at the scene. She died in hospital Tuesday with family by her side. Mounties are still searching for a suspect.
The grisly incident has sent shockwaves through Surrey, and residents are calling for governments to step up to combat the violence.
“We felt really heartbroken by the senseless, needless act of violence that seems to be continuing more and more in the city,” said James McFadyen. “I’m a long-time resident of Surrey so we came out to give support to the family and community, and hopefully something much more will be done about this.”
Surrey broke its murder rate in 2013 with 25 homicides, prompting the mayor to launch a task force last month.
“It’s getting scarier and scarier living around here,” said Newton resident Pauline Grant. “I usually walk my dog around at night but I won’t be doing that anymore.”
Surrey Coun. Barinder Rasode attended the memorial and said the brutal attack has left residents reeling.
“I think the community has been shaken to its core,” she told CTV News. “The fact that there was such a brutal and vicious attack is just absolutely horrible.”
Rasode said she wants to see more officers on the streets to deter violent crime, and also wants the provincial government to provide more support for people suffering from addictions.
She’s also calling for a review of security measures at recreation centres in the city.
“When we look at the safety of all of our rec centres around how efficient and effective and how powerful the cameras are, proper lighting, looking at trees and shrubs in the area.”
Investigators are asking anyone who was in the area of the Newton Arena, Newton bus loop or Newton wave pool Sunday night between 7 to 11 p.m. to contact the IHIT tip line at 1-877-551-4448 by email at email@example.com.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Michele Brunoro