‘Terrible, terrible thing’: Former coaches of accused Salmon Arm shooter shocked

Matrix Gathergood, 25, excelled in football, rugby during his time at Salmon Arm Secondary

Matrix Gathergood in his 2012 Salmon Arm Secondary graduation photo.

The man accused in the shooting death of a church elder at the Salmon Arm Church of Christ on Sunday, April 14 once excelled as an athlete at Salmon Arm Secondary.

Matrix Gathergood, now 25, stands charged with first degree murder in the killing of Gordon Parmenter, 78, as well as aggravated assault and disguising his face with the intent to commit an offence.

Gathergood played several sports, including football, rugby and wrestling. His coaches are shocked by the charges.

Ray Munsie, who coached him in wrestling, is shaken.

“Wrestling is a tremendously transformative sport, more than any I’ve been involved in,” says Munsie, who has coached high school wrestling since 1972 and worked with 13 Olympians.

“Kids don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care,” he says, his voice breaking. “My ability to transform his character, to build his character, I failed. I’m so sad for everyone involved. When you get so deeply invested in kids… This is a terrible, terrible thing.”

He describes Gathergood as strong, powerful and very tough, but also mean if he knew he was better than somebody.

“He had issues for sure, but I would never have seen this coming. When you say he’s been charged, I could never have predicted that.”

Read more: Man charged with first-degree murder in Salmon Arm church shooting

Read more: Man killed in Salmon Arm church shooting remembered as father figure to many

Read more: Former foster child lovingly remembers Salmon Arm shooting victim

Read more: City of Salmon Arm flags fly at half mast as city mourns church shooting victim

Greg Seed coached Gathergood in rugby.

“That’s a bit of a shocker; I don’t know what to say,” said Seed, a teacher at SAS.

“I coached him for a couple of years in high school. In Grade 8 he was a phenomenal player – fit, athletic, a huge positive influence on the team.”

Seed described him as “a force to be reckoned with” on the field, strong and solid with a love for tackling the opposition. Seed says he saw him more recently at a wedding and he was different; it appeared he was “not heading down the most academic path.”

Seed said Gathergood’s father drove him and his brother to football and rugby practices, and he said the Gathergoods and Parmenters both lived in Silver Creek, not far apart.

SAS teacher Rob Neid coached him in football and describes him as a good athlete.

“He did well in the sports that he played,” Neid said Monday.

In 2011, Gathergood was featured in the Salmon Arm Observer when he had advanced to the final stage of try-outs for Team BC.

Asked his reaction to the charges, Neid said: “It’s a pretty sad story. I lost touch with him when he left high school. I know he was dealing with some things. I don’t really know him anymore.”

The allegations against Gathergood have not been proven in court.


@SalmonArm
marthawickett@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Just Posted

Limits on chinook sport fishing could cause devastating economic ripples

Vancouver Island fishing guides concerned over salmon sport catch reductions to save declining stock

New B.C. residents not exempt from speculation and vacancy tax

Darcy Garneau has lived and worked in B.C. for over a year but could still owe money to the province

PAC RIM ACTIVE: Cathedral Grove re-opened, Little Qualicum still closed after windstorm

December windstorm caused a great deal of damage to two provincial parks

Elizabeth May’s wedding will be a ‘low carbon affair’ in Victoria on Earth Day

Green party leader’s wedding party to depart in a cavalcade of electric cars

IIO B.C. looking into allegation of assault by Nanaimo RCMP

Police arrested a cabin break-in suspect in the Nanaimo Lakes area in February

Snowbirds arrive on Vancouver Island for annual spring training

VIDEO: Acrobatic air team back in Comox for annual spring training

Vancouver Island restaurant among Canada’s most sustainable eateries

Locals in Courtenay only B.C. or small city establishment to make the top six list

4 victims killed in Penticton shooting spree remembered at vigil

John Brittain, 68, is charged with three counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder

B.C. awaits Kenney’s ‘turn off taps,’ threat; Quebec rejects Alberta pipelines

B.C. Premier John Horgan said he spoke with Kenney Wednesday and the tone was cordial

Federal government extends deadline to make Trans Mountain decision to June 18

The National Energy Board endorsed an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline on Feb. 22

Unveiling of Greater Victoria bus-tracking app delayed

NextRide won’t be coming to Greater Victoria until July

Penelakut Island students connect to construct wilderness trail

Initiative a labour of love for the community for recreation, healing and learning

Most Read