Four years after his body was discovered near, of all places, an elementary school in the typically peaceful Shuswap community of Salmon Arm, RCMP have arrested two people in the killing of Tyler Myers.
Mr. Myers died of a gunshot wound in November, 2008. He was 22. His body was found outside Bastion Elementary, where an after-hours function was being held. Some of the people inside heard the shot.
A 20-year-old man and a 21-year-old woman were arrested Monday and have been charged with first-degree murder. Because of their age at the time of the alleged offence, they cannot be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. Mounties have not disclosed a motive, but say the killing was not random, that Mr. Myers knew both of the accused.
“Our investigation clearly indicates that Mr. Myers and the two people charged knew each other socially,” RCMP Inspector Gary Shinkaruk said in an interview Tuesday. “The families knew each other. Certainly, when we told the Myers family about it they knew who the two accused were. They were surprised and saddened.”
Insp. Shinkaruk said why Mr. Myers was killed, and why the shooting occurred outside the elementary school, will come out in court.
“The school is a place that, clearly, is meant for the public. There’s a playground there, a treed area, people walk dogs through there. It’s a place that’s used not just during school hours, but after school hours,” he said. “It’s a reminder that when people do these murders in public places, in open areas, it’s fortunate that there wasn’t another innocent person … who got caught up at the wrong time.”
The murder investigation was first launched by the RCMP’s southeast district major crimes unit, though it languished. It was only this year, when the unsolved homicide unit took over, that police closed in on their suspects.
When asked when the unsolved homicide team is typically brought in, Insp. Shinkaruk said it varies. There’s no specific formula or timeline.
“There’s, sadly, no shortage of files for us to work on. There’s a variety of reasons why we take on different files. This is one that we felt deserved for us to take on,” he said.
Insp. Shinkaruk declined to discuss whether there was a major break in the case. However, he said more charges could be laid.
“Certainly, there’s the possibility that there will be other people that are charged for their roles,” he said.
Insp. Shinkaruk said Mr. Myers was known to police before his death, though he declined to disclose how.