Some of the mystery lingering over a 2011 gangland style killing in Blind Bay was lifted at a Kelowna press conference Monday morning, where Mounties announced a significant break in the case.
Williams Lake resident Jeremy Wayne Davis, 24, and Mission resident Jordan Larry Barnes, 27, were arrested last week and now each face a charge of second degree murder for the death of Sorrento man, Nicholas Cole Larsen.
“The Southeast District Major Crime Unit led the investigation which determined that Larsen, 24, was shot while travelling in a friend’s vehicle in what appeared to be a targeted attack,” said Inspector Terry Kohlhauser, RCMP Southeast District Senior Investigating Officer at the Kelowna press conference.
In the investigation into who killed Larsen and what their motivation may have been, it was revealed that there had been a dispute in Sorrento between two groups of men a couple of hours before the shooting.
At some point after that argument, the vehicle in which Larsen was riding was forced off the road by another also travelling on Blind Bay Road, said Kohlhauser.
An occupant of the suspect vehicle then allegedly opened fire and multiple bullets riddled the vehicle in which Larsen was riding.
The man who loved ones described as a “big guy with a big heart” was hit several times and succumbed to his injuries shortly thereafter on a nearby friend’s property.
Kohlhauser said that one of the two men arrested this week was an acquaintance of Larsen, but didn’t identify which one. He also wouldn’t go into the nature of the argument between the parties involved,.
He did say the crime was not gang related, despite appearances otherwise. Rumours that the crime was motivated by the drug trade were also not addressed.
Although the arrest can’t dull the pain of losing their son, Shelley and Bo Larsen said news of the arrest brought them the feelings of “peace and elation” for the first time in three years. It did not, however, bring forgiveness for those accused.
“The reckless, calculated decision to murder Nick over something as trivial as a verbal confrontation has forever changed the lives of so many innocent people,” said Shelley Larsen, to her son’s alleged killers.
“We believe you are exactly where you deserve to be.”
Bo Larsen offered thanks to the investigative team that made the arrests, as well as the community who supported the family as they dealt with their loss.
“This has been a long, long journey, and I’ve seen the pain in my family’s eyes and felt it in their hearts,” said Bo Larsen.
He previously described his son to the Salmon Arm Observer.
“He was a very sensitive guy, very sensitive and trusting. So much so that you’d have to talk to him, tell him that not everyone’s the same, that people can take advantage. Everyone else always came first with him,” he said in 2011.
Bo said his son loved animals and the outdoors, but his first priority was his family. He had a special fondness for his young nieces, liking to spoil them with presents and outings.
“He was loved by all. His humour and personality were next to none. I’ve never known him to go out and harm someone. I don’t care who you talk to, they’ll tell you the same thing.”
Davis, who was arrested in Williams Lake, was scheduled to make his first court appearance on Monday in a Kamloops courtroom.
Barnes, who was arrested in Kelowna the day after Davis was apprehended, was also scheduled to answer to the charges on Monday.