A former family member of the man police have now identified as the victim of last week’s homicide is asking for compassion from the community for his children.
On Thursday RCMP verified Darren Leadbeater, 36, as the victim of the June 4 shooting at the Golden Sands Resort Motel. Police have yet to release information on any suspects.
“The only message I can even put out there is show some compassion to these kids,” said Reverend Crystal Rose, Leadbeater’s former mother in law who lives in Alberta. “Let go of the rumours. Whether he did or didn’t, whether he was or wasn’t, that’s been dealt with in a way that there will be consequences. He made his choice, whatever it was, and somebody else took the choice of being able to breathe away from him. They made their choice and they will live with the consequences, because they will be found.”
Rose described the Penticton father of three as having “a big heart” and a love of sports, Leadbeater was a member of the local men’s rec hockey league and ball hockey league.
“He was just goofy, had a hell of a sense of humour and liked to poke fun at things,” Rose said. She added aside from being his former mother in law, she remained his counsellor, minister and his friend.
“He did not deserve this. He didn’t deserve to die this way and the people who did it, whoever they are, had a lot of rage involved I think,” Rose said. “For whatever reason, whether it was directed at him personally or just at the whole situation, this is just an ugly situation that left a lot of people with one hell of a mess to clean up.”
Leadbeater was officially identified Thursday afternoon, in the first official release of information since declaring the shooting a homicide on Tuesday. Police also confirmed that the residence being investigated on Carmi Road on Tuesday was a former residence of Leadbeater, and that the investigation at the residence has completed.
“I understand that anytime there is a homicide in a close-knit community such as Penticton, there are a lot of unanswered questions. We would like to reassure you that this homicide is believed to be an isolated, targeted occurrence and the public is not currently at risk,” said Cpl. Dave Tyreman in a press release.
“We want you to understand that in any investigation, we must always consider the fine balance between providing full details of any incident to a community and the need to protect the integrity of an investigation and that of any future court process.”
Penticton Mayor Andrew Jakubeit echoed the sentiment from police Thursday, saying that despite the lack of information released “the police have shown a heavy presence in their investigation.”
“We have to respect the process. Sometimes media is used by police as part of the investigation process. We should trust the work they’re doing because they have experience and knowledge to properly conduct investigations,” Jakubeit said.
“At the end of the day we all want the bad guy caught,” Jakubeit said.