Penticton marks one year anniversary of worst mass shooting in city's history - InfoNews

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Penticton marks one year anniversary of worst mass shooting in city's history

It was one year ago, on April 15, 2019, John Brittain is alleged to have shot four Penticton residents in the deadliest shooting in the city's history.
April 14, 2020 - 1:00 PM

Tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of a day that will live in infamy in Penticton, the day John Brittain is accused of shooting and killing four people.

Brittain, who was 68 at the time of the killings, is currently in custody at the Okanagan Correctional Centre awaiting trial for the homicides, which took place on a sunny and warm April 15, 2019.

Penticton RCMP were summoned to a Heales Avenue address around 10:30 a.m., after receiving a call of a suspected shooting. They found the body of Rudi Winter, 71, outside a duplex, dead from a gunshot wound.

Minutes later police were alerted to another incident across town, on Cornwall Drive, about five kilometres away. Police arrived at that scene to find Susan and Barry Wonch, and Darlene Knippleberg, also deceased from gunshot wounds.

The victims were all known to Brittain, and were neighbours of his ex-wife Katherine.

Brittain, a former engineer who worked for the City of Penticton, allegedly then drove to the RCMP detachment in Penticton a short time later where he turned himself in.

“This devastating and catastrophic news has shaken everyone who calls Penticton home or who regularly visits our beautiful community,” Penticton Mayor John Vassilaki said April 16, 2019, the day after the shootings. “Yesterday marked an unfortunate chapter in our community’s history but it also demonstrated our commitment to each other through acts of assistance and compassion in the aftermath of tragedy. Let’s continue to support and care for one another as we move forward from the events of yesterday.”

A candlelight vigil was held for the victims on April 17, 2019, in Gyro Park, in a service that was attended by several hundred citizens.

Brittain is expected to go to trial later this year, but as yet no firm date has been set. He faces four murder charges.

Find past stories on John Brittain here.


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