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

Truck loses load, closes Highway 24 for hours

A multi-vehicle collision last week closed down Highway 24 after scattering a load of plywood

UPDATE: Wildfire northeast of Clinton put out by BC Wildfire Service

Fire at 51 Mile Creek suspected to be lightning-caused

QUIZ: How much do you know about British Columbia?

On this B.C. Day long weekend, put your knowledge of our province to the test

Fishing Highway a ‘land of hidden waters’

Irene Meili has spent the past three years trying to lure more guests to the Fishing Highway.

Bursaries and bake sales at South Green Lake

Drive-thru homemade pie sale a huge success in a trying time

Airlines dispute Dr. Henry’s claim they ‘very rarely’ give accurate COVID contact tracing info

Air Canada, WestJet say they provide names and contact information

‘We all have anxieties’: B.C.’s top doctor addresses return-to-school fears amid COVID-19

Dr. Bonnie Henry promises school restart plan safe for B.C. kids

Abbotsford mom worried about her two kids in Beirut following explosion

Shelley Beyak’s children were abducted by their dad in 2018

Young Canadians, hospitality workers bear the brunt of mental strain in 2020: report

A study by Morneau Shepell points to economic uncertainty in the pandemic as the cause for angst

Health Canada recalling more than 50 hand sanitizers in evolving list

Organization says to stop using products listed, and to consult a health-care professional

Airborne hot dog strikes Greater Victoria pedestrian

Police called to 4200-block of Quadra Street for hot dog incident

B.C. scientist, 63, protests in trees set to be removed for Trans Mountain pipeline

Tim Takaro is reaching new heights as he tries to stall the pipeline expansion project in New Westminster

Dwindling B.C. bamboo supply leaves Calgary Zoo biologists worried about pandas

Zoo has been trying to send pandas back to China since May

Dinosaurs revived for animatronic auction in Langley

More than 500 robot dinosaurs, fossils, and exhibition gear are going on the block Aug. 6

Most Read