Daughter, 9, pleads for help in dad's murder
Published Tuesday, May 19, 2009 2:20PM PDT
A man police say may have been an innocent bystander killed in a double shooting Saturday night left behind a nine-year-old daughter.
Fighting back tears, Chris Whitmee's daughter Lexus told CTV News she is devastated by the loss of her father.
"He was the best dad I could ever hope for," said Lexus. "I still feel like he could walk through those doors right now.
"I want him back," she said.
Whitmee, 34, was killed on Saturday night when a gunman burst into the bathroom of the Legacy Showroom in Cloverdale and shot two men.
The other man, a 28-year-old, was wounded and is recovering in hospital. He was known to police -- and was unconnected to Whitmee, police said.
"One of the individuals, and we're uncertain as to whether it's the deceased victim or the surviving victim, may have been a bystander," said Cpl. Dale Carr of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team.
The shooting was targeted but the incident has not been linked to gangs, drugs, or organized crime. Investigators won't be able to confirm Whitmee was innocent for days or weeks, said Carr.
The police told Whitmee's family on Sunday, and initially they kept the death from Lexus, she said.
"They didn't want to tell me so I yelled and said tell me, and that's how I found out," she said.
Among the dozens of dead in Vancouver's gang warfare, there have been at least three innocent victims. Whitmee had no criminal record and his family said he had no enemies.
Whitmee's sister, Rachel Goodine, remembers her brother as a loving father.
"They were a lot alike, down to the little things like drinking Dr. Pepper and hating eggs," Goodine said.
Lexus is still coming to grips with the loss, said Lexus's mother, Heather Burkholder, and doesn't yet realize that her life will go on without a father.
"Our world will be totally different," said Burkholder.
Lexus has keepsakes of her father, like his bandanas, his hat, and his work pass. She wants anyone who knows anything to go to the police -- for her sake.
"He was very important to me," she said. "It would make me happy if someone would come forward."
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Jon Woodward