A Saskatchewan mother is grieving the death of her son, who was killed Sept. 12 at the resort village of Candle Lake.
"I just miss him. I miss my baby. I just want my baby back," Pamela Althouse said, an ache audible in her voice. She's mourning and confused after she says her 14-year-old son Ronald Chase Wesley Althouse was the victim of a "murder-suicide."
She said she wants people to know how deeply her son, who was known to friends and family as Chase, was loved. Pamela describes her son as a happy, kind kid.
She said he loved sports like track and field and basketball. She said he went back to school last week, and was so excited to be back among his friends. Pamela said they had lived in the small, tight-knit community for about five years — and her son loved to go down to the water and boating.
"We just all love him and miss him dearly. He was an amazing little man — a tall little man," she said, crying and laughing because he was so much taller than her.
Pamela left the community yesterday to get away from the scene of the tragedy and be closer to her family members.
Chase was the baby of the family, having two older sisters and a brother.
On Monday afternoon, RCMP released more information about the shooting. RCMP said a 49-year-old man armed with a firearm was assaulting a woman when others in the home intervened. Pamela Althouse has confirmed that she was the woman who was being attacked and that she had a common-law relationship with the perpetrator, identified as Troy Thompson.
Her sister confirmed that Pamela and her son had gone to Pamela's daughter's home to seek safety from the violence, but Thompson allegedly followed them there. Police were called to the home just before 10 p.m. CST and found that Pamela's son had died after being shot in an altercation.
They said the 49-year-old man was disarmed before fleeing the home.
Police said the people in the home were escorted to a safe location while officers looked for the suspect. Local volunteer first responders, Saskatchewan RCMP, conservation officers and the Saskatoon Police Service airplane were all involved.
They found the man dead inside another home, where he had lived with Pamela and Chase, with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Police said autopsies are being conducted by the Saskatchewan Coroner's Service Monday while the investigation at both locations continues.
Police said a perimeter remains around two residences as the investigation continues.
Terry Kostyna, mayor of the resort village, said mental health resources are being lined up for the first responders who helped in the aftermath of the violence — many of whom are local volunteers.
"We will be providing those resources to the community as well, because, again, we're a small community — this time of the year especially."
The village's population shrinks to about 1,000 people in September, as many cottagers and weekend vacationers retreat back to their cities.
"Like any small community in the province of Saskatchewan, where there are so many people that know each other, that all go to the same coffee shops and the restaurants and attend the functions and play basketball and go to the curling rink together, everybody knows everybody," Kostyna said.
"It's a loss and a challenge for the whole community."