Messages of condolence and support are pouring into the Prince Rupert community from government officials after the city was shaken by a murder-suicide in the downtown core on Monday morning, Nov. 21.
Mayor Herb Pond addressed the situation at the City Council meeting on the same night as the incident appealing to the community of just less than 8,000 adults to lean on each other for support “in this difficult time” and talk about the situation in a factual way.
“I want to offer the community and particularly the families that are closest to this tragic event, the heartfelt condolences of this entire council. It’s been a really hard day for our community,” he said, adding there were also calls and expressions of sympathy from other community leaders, which were appreciated.
The mayor said it was “no secret what the community has been going through,” and while City Hall was affected by a lockdown which was concerning, he is more concerned for the people connected to the tragedy.
“I’m concerned about all of that, but I’m concerned even more about the families that are more directly involved and the people that were more directly involved … so we’ll leave it to the RCMP to speak to the facts of the matter.”
“This is a tragic day for our entire community. Our hearts go out to everyone who was touched by today’s events, and we encourage those who need it to seek whatever supports are necessary to help them through. It’s time to lean on each other,” Pond stated in an email to The Northern View.
Premier David Eby, Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, Mitzi Dean, Minister of Children and Family Development (MCFD), and Jennifer Rice, Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness, released a statement on Nov. 22 regarding the shooting in which 52-year old mother, Patty Forman, an MCFD worker died in a murder-suicide. The incident occurred in the business centre mall where Rice’s office is located.
“This was a violent act committed against someone who worked to serve local children and families. This is traumatic news that no family expects to receive, and it’s a tragic event for the tight-knit community of Prince Rupert.
“Our thoughts are with the victim of this horrific tragedy, their family and friends. Our hearts also go out to those who acted immediately to provide emergency care, those who may have witnessed this violence and anyone whose safety was threatened by yesterday’s events. We are here for you, and we will be in the days, weeks and months to come.
In a separate message to the community, from the legislature on Monday, North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice said, “I want to say to my constituents, I am really sorry. I am grieving with them. I wish I could be home right now. I wish I could be with you during this really tragic time … You are in my heart. I look forward to seeing you as soon as I get home and I will embrace every one of you.”
Taylor Bachrach, Member of Parliament for Skeena Bulkley offered his condolences.
“My heart goes out to Prince Rupert residents reeling from this devastating tragedy. As the community comes together to support each other, know that so many across the region hold you in our thoughts,” he said.