John Brittain: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

John Brittain is the retired city worker who has been charged with multiple counts of murder after a shooting spree left four people dead in Penticon, British Columbia. Brittain, 68, appeared in court briefly on April 16, where he was charged with three counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder. Brittain did not speak in court and did not answer questions from reporters about the charges against him. Here’s what you need to know:

1. Police Say Brittain Knew All Four of His Alleged Victims

Police have not released the names of the two men and two women who were killed in the shooting spree his week. But neighbors and friends of the victims have told reporters that they’ve identified the victims themselves. The shootings took place in different areas in the city, with the first shooting at 10:30AM on Monday and lasted for an hour. At the end of the hour, Penticon turned himself in to the police.

Police said the victims were all in the 60s and 70s, and said they all knew Brittain as well as each other. Ted De Jager, a superintendent with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, said police still don’t know what the motive behind the shootings could have been. He added that they didn’t want to speculate about the matter or about the relationships between Brittain and the victims. “I can’t speak to the actual relationship and, be mindful, this matter is before the courts,” De Jager said during a news conference.

2. One of the Victim’s Relatives Said He May Have Been Killed By an Old Neighbor Looking for Revenge

Police have not formally identified the victims of the shooting spree. But friends and family of the victims have told local media that they have already identified the victims. And some say they have an idea as to why they were killed.

Family members say one of the victims was a man named Rudi Winter. Winter’s nephew has said that he believes an angry former neighbor, holding on to a grudge, might have killed his uncle.

The victims’ neighbors say the other victims are Susan and Barry Wonch and Darlene Knippelberg. So far, nobody has come forward with a theory about why they might have been targeted.

3. Brittain Was an Engineer Who Worked for the City & Was Described as a ‘Gentle’ Man

Brittain is a civil engineer who was working part time for Ecora Engineering in the company’s Penticon office. Before that, Brittain worked for Penticon in the city’s engineering department. The mayor of Penticon, John Vassilaki, said he remembered Brittain from the days when Brittain was an engineer with the city. “He was a gentle man. He did his job well.”

Vassilaki said that Brittain worked for the city until 2016, when he retired due to an illness. Vassilaki added that he really didn’t know anything about Brittain’s personal life.

4. All Four of Brittain’s Alleged Victims Lived on the Same Block, Near Brittain’s Ex-Wife

Police have not released the names of the victims of Monday’s shooting spree. But reports in the media say that all four of the victims lived on Cornwall Drive in Penticon. John Brittain’s ex wife also owns a property on Cornwall Drive, and police have said that Brittain knew all of the victims personally.

The family of one victim, Rudi Winter, say that Winter was likely killed by a former neighbor who was looking for revenge. The other victims’ families have not come forward with any theories about why they were killed.

5. Brittain Was Unarmed When He Turned Himself in to Police

The shooting spree in Penticon started at 10:30 on the morning on Monday, April 15. By 11:30 that same morning, Brittain turned himself in to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. He was unarmed. Police took him into custody immediately.

Brittain appeared briefly in court on Tuesday, April 16 but did not say anything. He also refused to answer questions from reporters. He is due back in court on May 8.

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