Man found not criminally responsible in fatal Salmon Arm church shooting

Matrix Gathergood confined to hospital for decision by Forensic Psychiatric Commission

A judge has determined a Shuswap man who shot and killed a Salmon Arm churchgoer in April 2019, and wounded another, was not criminally responsible for his actions due to a mental disorder.

Justice Sheri Ann Donegan, who presided over the case of Matrix Gathergood as part of Supreme Court proceedings at the Salmon Arm courthouse, delivered her ruling on Wednesday, July 22.

Gathergood, 25, was facing charges of murder in the death of church leader Gordon Parmenter and aggravated assault for the wounding of Paul Derkach after the April 14, 2019 shooting at the Salmon Arm Church of Christ.

Gathergood pleaded not guilty and his lawyer, Johnathan Avis, put forward the defence of not criminally responsible due to a mental disorder.

During court proceedings on July 21, Crown counsel Alison Buchanan did not challenge the defence. She stated the psychiatric report from Dr. Andrew Kolchak supported the contention that Gathergood suffered from symptoms of psychosis, which made it difficult for him to rationally evaluate what he was doing.

Gathergood, long haired and bearded and wearing a black sweatshirt and toque, appeared by video conference from the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital in Coquitlam. He was silent and wore a blank expression as Donegan delivered her decision and the reasons for it.

Read more: Judge to decide if accused in Salmon Arm church shooting not guilty due to mental disorder

Read more:Crown seeks psychiatric assessment for accused in Salmon Arm church shooting

Testifying by phone on July 21, Kolchak said he diagnosed Gathergood with schizophrenia and that he believes he qualifies for the not criminally responsible by way of mental disorder defence. Kolchak said Gathergood believed there was a new-world-order governing body that 78-year-old Parmenter was involved with. According to Kolchak’s testimony, Gathergood also believed he was under threat from Parmenter.

Testimony on July 21 also touched on the relationship between the two men, that Parmenter had been something of a father figure to Gathergood over the years. The court heard that Gathergood thought Parmenter blamed him for the Parmenters’ move from their home in Silver Creek.

Kolchak was the only witness called on July 21 as the Crown and defence had already agreed on a statement of facts about the events surrounding the shooting.

Donnegan ordered Gathergood be confined to hospital while the case is forwarded to the Forensic Psychiatric Commission for a disposition hearing. Options expected would include detaining the person in a psychiatric facility, discharging them with conditions and having them return for further assessments, or giving them an absolute discharge. The seriousness of the crime would generally affect the options.

With files by Martha Wickett.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Salmon Arm

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Interior Health reports three additional COVID-19 cases in region

The number of cases in the region since the beginning of the pandemic are now at 492

UPDATE: Fire above Sparwood no threat to community

Mayor David Wilks reported it may be due to an exposed coal seam

Conservative opposition critic tours through Kootenay riding on listening tour

Pierre Poilievre, the Tory finance critic, gathering local feedback on pandemic supports, recovery issues

EKC makes $5,000 donation to Elk Valley ultrasound campaign

The EKC challenged other businesses to help the campaign hit its $300,000 target

City of Fernie to extend pilot snow removal program

Councillors voted unanimously on Sep. 17 to extend the program due to a lack of data points and disruption due to the pandemic

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Most Read