Family, friends gather to honour victims of Langley, B.C., shootings

·3 min read
John Wynn, right, embraces his girlfriend Marina Reimer after speaking about his late brother during a vigil Wednesday. Paul Wynn and Steven Furness were killed by a gunman during a series of attacks on homeless people in Langley, B.C., on July 25. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press - image credit)
John Wynn, right, embraces his girlfriend Marina Reimer after speaking about his late brother during a vigil Wednesday. Paul Wynn and Steven Furness were killed by a gunman during a series of attacks on homeless people in Langley, B.C., on July 25. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press - image credit)

A vigil was held Wednesday for victims of last week's shootings in Langley, B.C., which killed two people, wounded two more and ended only when police shot the suspected gunman dead.

Family and friends of the victims gathered around 6 p.m. at Innes Corners Plaza, just blocks from two of the four locations where the shootings took place, to mourn and honour their memories with dozens of members of the community.

A gunman shot and killed Paul Wynn, 60, and Steven Furness, 43, during a series of attacks in the City of Langley and the Township of Langley early July 25.

Wynn was shot dead outside the Creek Stone Place supportive housing complex on 201 Street around 3 a.m. Furness was killed near the Langley City bus loop at Logan Avenue and Glover Road just after 5 a.m.

A man and woman were also shot and wounded in separate attacks, but survived.

Three of the victims were homeless, advocates and family members confirmed Wednesday, while Wynn was living at Creek Stone Place. Many attending the vigil called for more to be done to protect people who are unhoused.

"It's heartbreaking ... Honestly, I'm frustrated, I'm sad, I'm angry," said housing advocate Kim Snow, who founded the Langley-based outreach agency Kimz Angels. "I just want people to listen and make a difference — do something about it."

Steven Furness's parents and 14-year-old daughter attended the vigil, as did Paul Wynn's brother and his partner.

Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press
Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press

'It seems like every single day, it's someone dying'

There was no formal agenda for the vigil, which was organized by both the city and township. A representative from each community opened the event, followed by a moment of silence and an invitation for attendees to speak.

"Our community is mourning right now," said Langley City Mayor Val van den Broek at the vigil, which she said was meant to provide support for the city's vulnerable homeless community and give families a chance to grieve.

"The question on everyone's mind is 'why?'" the mayor said.

No motive has been established for the attacks. The man believed responsible for the shootings was shot dead by police at the Langley Bypass near 200 Street some time after 5:45 a.m. on the day of the attacks.

Lisa Goddard, another attendee at the vigil, has struggled to find stable housing for two years. She was shocked by the shootings, but said people in her circle often face early, tragic deaths.

"I remember a time in my life when I would hear of somebody passing away and it would be like stab wounds to the heart ... It was such a huge ordeal," she said. "And it still is, I'm not taking away from the agony and the heartbreak of losing somebody. But it's so common now, it's like every day.

"It seems like every single day, it's someone dying."

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