Penticton shootings: GoFundMe set up to support family of slain mother
A picture of Gary Knippelberg and his mother, Darlene, who was shot and killed April 15, 2019 in Penticton (GoFundMe)
Published Friday, April 19, 2019 1:27PM PDT
Last Updated Friday, April 19, 2019 3:14PM PDT
Family, friends and neighbours are donating to support the family of one of the four people fatally shot in Penticton this week.
A GoFundMe page for Darlene Knippelberg was set up April 18 with a goal to raise $5,000. By 1 p.m. the on Good Friday, however, they were already hundreds past their original target.
“Losing a parent is one of the hardest times a family can go through, but losing her in such an unexpected way is unimaginable,” one of the GoFundMe page’s creator, Daniella Iannone, wrote.
According to the online donation site, Knippelberg’s sister lives in Vancouver, and the funds raised would go to support funeral, medical and travel expenses. The money will support Knippelberg's son, Gary, and his sister.
Iannone has worked with Gary at the Radec Group, a Canadian homebuilding and design firm, for the past two and a half years.
“It’s been quite hard; everyone’s felt his loss for him," said Iannone over the phone from her home in Penticton. "There's a few people here that have been very, very close with Gary for over 20 years, and they're heartbroken.”
The 29-year-old Penticton resident told CTV News Vancouver Gary Knippelberg is a "phenomenal musician" who plays the guitar and sings, and "one of those people you meet and instantly love."
"He's always funny, happy-go-lucky, and so dedicated to his family. He's an amazing guy," she said.
Darlene Knippelberg was one of four people shot and killed in the Okanagan on April 15. A former neighbour, 68-year-old John Brittain, has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder and single count of second-degree murder in connection with the killings.
Rudi Winter, 71, has also been identified by his wife, Renate, as one of the victims.
RCMP Supt. Ted De Jager said the two shootings that claimed four lives were all targeted, and police are still working to determine the motive behind the killings.
"I recognize that these heart-breaking events have deeply impacted our community and will continue to do so for some time," he said.
Speaking of the campaign, Iannone choked back tears while describing the outpouring of support form the community.
"We are really grateful for everyone who's donated," Iannone whispered, "I can't even begin to epxlain how grateful I am for their support."
Donations for the family can be made here.
With files from The Canadian Press’ Amy Smart