Friends and family grieving for man killed in Kamloops shooting

Penticton’s Rex Gill was one of two men shot in Kamloops Wednesday

Rex Gill was one of two men killed in separate shooting incidents in Kamloops Wednesday. Photo courtesy Facebook

Friends and family are lamenting the death of a Penticton man killed in Kamloops yesterday.

Rex Gill was found with gunshot wounds outside a Kamloops hotel early on the morning of Jan. 23. Another man was also found with gunshot wounds a different hotel.

Both men succumbed to their injuries and the RCMP consider them homicides.

Related: Kamloops RCMP investigate two homicides at separate hotels

Max Picton, local businessman and former city councillor, describes Gill as “a really solid guy.”

“The shirt off his back kind of guy. Always be there for you, always want to lend a helping hand, encouraging,” said Picton. “He gave me my first job back at Coyote Cruises when I was just a kid. I worked with him for 10 years and became really close.”

Travis Kruger, former Penticton Indian Band councillor, was also a close friend of Gill. He made an emotional post to Facebook.

“How do I even sum up someone who was larger than life?” wrote Kruger, adding that before it had a label, they were the original bromance.

“You always had my back. You showed me what a real investment in people could turn into.”

Both men shared a love of motorcycles, and Kruger promised to pay his respects the next time he was out.

“When I take Winnie out, I’ll look up and give you the 140km/hr hand signal, crack my throttle, feel the wind in my face and know ur looking down on me,” wrote Kruger.

Matthew Baran, executive director of the Ooknakane Friendship Centre, also rode with Gill.

“For him, riding motorcycles was almost a spiritual journey,” said Baran, describing Gill as a person people gravitated to.

“He just had this amazing sense of humour. He could just reach out to anybody and make them smile,” said Baran.”He brought out the best in everyone. When he didn’t feel we were pushing ourselves or growing in the way he thought we could, he would point out … that we could do more.”

Baran also said Gill was an amazing father and family man.

“He cared a lot about his children. Family was very important to him; he looked after his brothers and just absolutely adored his mom,” said Baran. “Family meant everything to him. “When you became his friend, you became his family.”

Kamloops police say they were called to one of the city’s Super 8 hotels at 6:50 a.m., and at 8:50 a.m., another man was found outside the Comfort Inn and Suites with apparent gunshot wounds.

Related: RCMP investigate two shootings at different hotels in Kamloops

Given that both shootings happened within two hours of each other and in public places, the RCMP are asking members of the public to be careful and report any suspicious activity they see in the community.

The RCMP says both uniform and plain clothes officers are investigating the incidents and no further details are immediately available.

(with files from Canadian Press)


Steve Kidd
Senior reporter, Penticton Western News
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