Rex Gill, 41, was a Summerland resident shot outside the Kamloops Comfort Inn and Suites on Jan. 23. His homicide was considered related to a similar shooting that took place the same morning in Kamloops. RCMP are now saying that this is possibly a case of mistaken identity. Photo from Facebook Rex Gill, 41, was a Summerland resident shot outside the Kamloops Comfort Inn and Suites on Jan. 23. His homicide was considered related to a similar shooting that took place the same morning in Kamloops. RCMP are now saying that this is possibly a case of mistaken identity. Photo from Facebook

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

The first shot erupted from a car window hitting no one, but the next bullets took the life of Rex Gill.

A Penticton man is recounting the morning he watched his friend, a 41-year-old Summerland resident, get gunned down outside of the Kamloops Comfort Inn and Suites on Jan. 23.

RCMP immediately linked Gill’s death to another Kamloops shooting that took place the same morning outside of a different hotel.

“I was standing right beside him when it happened,” said the man.

“I was two feet away from him, having a smoke. Then a car pulled up beside the truck we were standing beside, took one shot and hit the tailgate … then they took four more shots at us,” said the man. “I dove behind the truck and turned just as Rex was hit, so I watched him get shot.”

Police said early on that the deaths were linked to organized crime, noting that Gill was not previously known to them, while the other victim, Cody Marcel Mathieu, 33, was linked to the drug trade. The witness to Gill’s death, who wishes to remain anonymous for safety and privacy concerns, knew him personally and said there was no chance he was involved in any type of drug trade.

Related: Penticton victim in Kamloops shooting may be a case of mistaken identity

“It was definitely a case of mistaken identity – he had nothing to do with the drug trade anywhere and let alone in Kamloops.”

The man explained that he and Gill were in the city for work, and were outside smoking when the gunfire erupted. He said he gave his statement to Kamloops RCMP, who have not been in touch with him since.

“Apparently (the shooter) was the same person (who attacked Mathieu). The description of the vehicle or something was the same so it was the same person,” said the witness.

Related: Penticton man killed in Kamloops shooting

A release recently issued by the Kamloops RCMP said the two ongoing homicide investigations are being handled by the Special Crimes Unit, who are treating them as top priorities. The release also said suspects have been identified for these two homicides but no arrests have been made.

“It’s bothered me that the cops say the public have no fear of being in danger because we’re just the public. But we had nothing to do with it and one of us is dead because of it. The public does have something to fear, because otherwise, we’d be fine.”

The witness said Gill’s death left a lasting impact on him, deeply shaking his sense of security.

“I don’t go anywhere; I go to work and stay in a motel. I don’t leave, I can’t even go out for a walk or nothing. Just because it was pretty scary.”

Related: UPDATE: Kamloops shootings linked to organize crime

Matthew Baran, executive director of Ooknakane Friendship Centre and a personal friend of Gill’s, is also upset with how information was released in regards to the shooting, claiming the police should have taken more care when they “portrayed Gill in the drug trade.”

Baran said he has spoken with Gill’s family since the most recent RCMP release about his homicide, and they are disappointed in the lack of communication.

“The RCMP didn’t contact them directly to notify them (about the mistaken identity). That would have been more appropriate than releasing it in a news release that was somewhat focusing on another situation.” said Baran.

He said ‘it was not a revelation to the family” that Gill’s death was likely a case of mistaken identity.

“It’s unfortunate that the RCMP painted the situation with that brush. I understand that they have to do what they have to do,” said Baran.

“But it was a little premature to make the suggestion and imply that he was involved or invested in that situation. It just wasn’t normal to his character.”

Baran said those who knew Gill “take those experiences and share them with other people” in order to honour his memory.

 

RCMP gather on Rogers Place in Kamloops, a short road just off Rogers Way in the Aberdeen neighbourhood, where Rex Gill’s body was found on Jan. 23. (Dave Eagles/KTW photo)

Just Posted

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: the warm sun is sticking around

Environement Canada forcasts sun, no clouds for Wednesday

TKI Construction looks forward to being part of Rutland

The company is renovating the old AG Outdoor Superstore

Rockets’ tiebreaker for playoff berth a franchise first

The Rockets travel to Kamloops for a do-or-die match against the Blazers

‘Our sales are hurting’ Kelowna music hub takes hit after big competition moves in

Milkcrate Records still taking a hit after Sunrise Records moved into town 2 years ago

Construction set to begin on new roundabout in Lake Country

Construction is scheduled from April until July

The UBC Innovation Library has helped over 1,100 students since opening in 2015

Students across B.C. can access their academic resources at the UBC Innovation Library

Facebook to overhaul ad targeting to prevent discrimination

The company is also paying about $5 million to cover plaintiffs’ legal fees and other costs

B.C. mosque part of open-house effort launched in wake of New Zealand shootings

The ‘Visit a Mosque’ campaign aims to combat Islamophobia

‘That’s a load of crap’: Dog poop conspiracy spreads in White Rock

Allegation picked up steam through a Facebook page run by a city councillor

Explosives unit brought in after suspicious boxes left at B.C. RCMP detachment

Nanaimo RCMP issues all clear after packages were found on lawn earlier in the day

Avalanche control tomorrow on Highway 1

Expect closures of up to two hours east of Revelstoke

2019 BUDGET: As deficit grows, feds spend on job retraining, home incentives

Stronger economy last year delivered unexpected revenue bump of an extra $27.8 billion over six years

Newfoundland man caught after posting photo of himself drinking and driving

The 19-year-old took a photo of himself holding a beer bottle and cigarette while at the wheel

Carfentanil found in 15% of overdose deaths in January: B.C. coroner

Carfentanil is 100 times more powerful than illicit fentanyl and used to tranquilize elephants

Most Read