“I can’t believe something like this could happen in Salmon Arm.”
This is a comment we’ve seen come up repeatedly in response to Sunday’s fatal shooting at the Church of Christ.
Certainly, it’s a thought that’s crossed our minds at the paper as we contend with our own shock and heartache, which grows as we learn more about the victim, Gordon Parmenter, and the young man who has been charged in the shooting.
If anything, the shooting at Church of Christ on April 14, along with the Monday, April 15, shooting in Penticton that left four dead, shows the violence normally associated with larger Canadian urban centres can happen anywhere—including a small city like Salmon Arm.
While some are demanding justice for Sunday’s undeniably heinous crime, most of us are doing what people in small communities do in the face of tragedy—we grieve yet pull together, we reach out to those immediately impacted and remind them they are loved, we provide support when and where we can, we share uplifting stories with each other, memories of better times.
Hopefully, through all this, we find strength and resolve and inspiration and, at some point, some sense of closure.
In light of Sunday’s tragedy, we shouldn’t fear what tomorrow might bring, but instead focus on moving forward together, continuing to look out for one another, regardless of our differences, with care and compassion.
This is something we can do and do well as a small community.
In so doing, we stand a better chance of preventing such tragedies from happening again.