What we know about the Salmon Arm shooting victim
Published Monday, April 15, 2019 2:28PM PDT
Last Updated Monday, April 15, 2019 6:34PM PDT
A husband, a father, a grandfather, a foster parent. A woodworker, a church-goer, a mentor, a great guy.
In the hours after a Salmon Arm man was fatally shot during a church service, those who knew him are providing an idea of who the victim was.
Gordon Parmenter was 78. He had his own children, but he also treated his foster kids the same way.
He loved his wife, woodworking and the church.
He helped shape the youth he mentored into the adults they are today.
"Gord and Peggy were more than foster parents. They treated me like their own kin," a former foster child said in an email to The Canadian Press on Sunday.
"I was a very complex case and complexity is what Gord specialized in. He helped me become who I am today, and always with a laugh… Without him I never would have made it to Grade 12."
The foster child said he's now in his third term of college.
"I would not be there were it not for Gord," he said.
He died when shots rang out during a service at the Church of Christ Sunday morning. He'd been filling in as preacher when the shooting occurred.
Another man, church choir leader Paul Derkach, was also injured. Police believe the suspect, who has been charged with first-degree murder, knew at least one of the victims.
"Gordon was driven by his faith and helping people was his way of serving God," the foster child said.
He and several other children were taken in over the years by the Parmenters because Gordon had volunteered to be the emergency placement home in the city in B.C.'s Southern Interior.
An online fundraiser described the late church elder as "our friend, our mentor and our patriarch. He made a powerful impact on all who knew him."
The page was initially set up last month by his granddaughter, when Gordon and Peggy's home caught fire and they lost many of their possessions. The post says investigations into the cause of the fire are ongoing by both police and the insurance company.
Their tires were also slashed around the same time, the GoFundMe site says.
The page was converted when Gordon died Sunday, with all money going to his wife who is still living in temporary housing.
On the post, their granddaughter wrote that Gordon's death was senseless, but that the family is choosing to honour him by loving others.
"We regard his attacker and his family with love, not hostility as Jesus loved those who nailed him to the cross."
Still, the site says, "We are sad beyond description."
An insurance agent who'd met Gordon on multiple occasions when he was helping youth insure their first vehicles described him as "a very nice man."
In a statement, Cassi Amos told CTV News Vancouver she was sad to hear of his death, and that her thoughts and prayers are with his family.
"He will be deeply missed."
With files from The Canadian Press and CTV News Vancouver's Allison Hurst in Salmon Arm