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Vigil held to honour young homicide victim in Williams Lake

Police turn attention to nearby home on Midnight Drive after 19-year-old dies of stab wounds

Bouquets of flowers lay on the grass in the 300 block along Midnight Drive Tuesday, May 10, where late Thursday night (May 5), residents and emergency responders in Williams Lake rushed to help a victim suffering from stab wounds.

Witnesses told Black Press Media that before emergency crews arrived Thursday night, motorists in the residential area parked two vehicles to block off the street to protect the victim, who was laying in the road.

Other witnesses said they observed a police officer performing CPR on the victim while another officer led a woman away from the scene just after midnight.

Despite the efforts of all involved the victim, a 19-year-old man originally from Tl’etinqox First Nation, died as a result of the injuries, and became Williams Lake’s second homicide victim of 2022.

Tl’etinqox Chief Joe Alphonse confirmed the victim was the second person from his community to be murdered in Williams Lake in 2022.

“The aftermath of incidents like this are pretty traumatic for families and for young people to lose friends in that way. We encourage anyone who knows anything to come forward.”

Alphonse said everyone wants to live in a community that is safe for all families.

“We cannot expect the RCMP or others to do that for us. Every one of us has an obligation and when something like this happens the people who are responsible need to be held accountable.”

Too often when deaths occur in his community the trauma is not discussed, he noted.

“People end up carrying those traumas for a long, long time.”

Tuesday afternoon several RCMP officers, some wearing white suits, arrived just down the block from the original scene and entered a home located about 100 metres from where the victim was found.

So far police have released few details about the death, or whether they have a suspect or suspects in custody.

Through a news release, RCMP have asked residents in the area for any video or dashcam footage taken Thursday night between 9:30 and 11:30 p.m.

RCMP have also continued to canvas residents in the neighbourhood.

The RCMP North District Major Crime Unit is conducting the investigation, working closely with the Williams Lake RCMP and BC Coroners Services, police noted Saturday, adding early indications suggested that this was a targeted attack.

Around 60 people attended a ceremony in the 300 block of Midnight Drive Wednesday afternoon, May 11.

Tl’etinqox spiritual leader Cecil Grinder placed candles directly on the road.

He smudged the area and then sprinkled water he had collected from a spring on the Sheep Creek Hill west of Williams Lake, while women led some drumming songs.

READ MORE: RCMP seek witnesses in Williams Lake homicide



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Monica Lamb-Yorski

About the Author: Monica Lamb-Yorski

A B.C. gal, I was born in Alert Bay, raised in Nelson, graduated from the University of Winnipeg, and wrote my first-ever article for the Prince Rupert Daily News.
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