Suspect charged with murders after deadly shootings in Downtown Penticton
John Brittain, a suspect a suspect in the Penticton shootings Monday morning has been charged with murder after a shooting spree that left four people dead.
John Brittain, 60, has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder. Two women and two men were killed in three different locations in the city during an hour-long shooting spree that began around 10:30 a.m. PT Monday, and ended with the suspect turning himself in at the front desk of the local RCMP detachment.
All of the victims knew each other and their alleged killer, RCMP Supt. Ted De Jager stated Monday. Investigators believe the shootings were targeted. Police were first called to the area of Lakeview Street and Heales Avenue, a residential neighborhood blocks from the Okanagan Lake, after locals reported that a man had been shot.
As officers were en route, they received a second call that another person had been shot further south in the city. The public was asked to avoid the downtown area entirely, and to stay indoors if they were already there. De Jager said a 60-year-old man matching the suspect's description turned himself in at the RCMP detachment on Main Street at 11:27 a.m. pst, an hour and a half after the first calls came in.
Investigators did a sweep of the downtown area after the suspect was arrested and found four bodies in three places. One person was found dead along the Lakeview Street, while three others were found in a suburban area around Cornwall Drive.
Paramedics responded, but all four people died at the scene.
On Monday, police said they hadn't determined a possible motive for the killings. The city of Penticton sits between the southern bank of Okanagan Lake and the northern shore of Skaha Lake, and sits less than 30miles (48 Kilometer) from the U.S Border, with a population of 30,000 that swells with tourists during its hot, dry summers.
Shelly Halvorson, who was at work near Lakeview Street during the incident, said she was shaken up after hearing "four or five pops" and seeing a man lying across the front lawn of a home.
"This is a little too close. I've never experienced this," she said during a phone call Monday. "I'm not comfortable at all."
Danny Herron, who lives near the Lakeview Street crime scene, said it was a frightening hour.
"It's an eye-opener for everybody," he said. "When it continued on, I thought, 'What's going on here? Is this guy on the loose? Is he shooting randomly?' You just don't know."