Fatal Coquitlam shooting: Memorial growing for victim as mother speaks out
COQUITLAM, B.C. -- The grieving mother of a man who was fatally shot in a Coquitlam park on Monday is speaking out, saying she wants the world to know her son had a family who loved him.
Twenty-year-old Bailey McKinney was playing a game of pickup basketball at Town Centre Park when someone shot and killed him around 6:30 p.m.
Police say he was known to them, and court records show a man with the same name had upcoming appearances for violence and drug-related charges.
His mother, Lianne McKinney, acknowledges her son had made some bad decisions in his past, but says he was now working in construction and was in the process of trying to get his life on track and prepare for the future.
"He was coming around. He'd seen the error of his ways and was changing his life. People talk like he came here for a drug deal or something when he got shot here,” she said. “He came here and was playing basketball with his friends. Unarmed. And someone came and shot him. He was a victim. This could be anybody's son."
McKinney said her son is survived by a pair of sisters and many, many cousins in a large extended family that is now trying to support each other through this tragedy.
Town Centre Park was filled with children and families at the time of the shooting, and police believe as many as 50 witnesses may have been in the immediate vicinity when it happened.
Homicide investigators urge anyone who hasn’t already spoken to police to contact Coquitlam RCMP or CrimeStoppers.
Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart encountered McKinney and her family as they grieved at a memorial near where her son was shot.
Stewart asked if he could record a video of her thoughts and McKinney agreed.
In the video, she addresses concerns about the brazen violence in a crowded place, saying she wants people to remember that her son is a victim in this case.
“He’s a member of this Coquitlam community. We’re not happy with what happened in this park,” she said. “His family is all from the Tri-Cities, as well. And we’re not happy about what happened here either.”
She said her son only turned 20 about a month ago.
“Put it in perspective…he’s just a kid,” she said. “And he was a kid who was turning his life around. Give it another year and he could have had this all figured out.”
McKinney is now searching for an outdoor venue to accommodate as much extended family for her son’s funeral as possible, since indoor services are limited to just 10 people due to provincial COVID-19 restrictions.