‘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

Barriere residents make the best of a busted power line incident

“We were told to stay off the lawn in case there was an electrical shock”

Open burning prohibitions now lifted

As of Sept. 18, Category 2 and Category 3 open fires will be permitted within the Kamloops jurisdiction

100 participants turn out for annual Barriere Terry Fox Run

Local residents raise more than $12,000 for cancer research

Barriere couple threatened with eviction after TNRD pays visit

“How can they expect us to leave our land, livestock and belongings behind, unsecured”

VIDEO: A moment to remember during the World Lacrosse Men’s Indoor Championship in B.C.

Diego Hernandez Valenzuela’s team lost, but he felt like a winner Saturday

B.C. Lions hype-man marks 15 years of cheers

Crazy P cheers, chants, bangs his drum and spreads a message of love

PHOTOS: Steller sea lion with plastic around neck rescued on Vancouver Island

Rescue staff determined the plastic band cut the protected animal’s neck approximately two inches

B.C. VIEWS: School officials join fact-free ‘climate strike’

Students, public get distorted picture of greenhouse gases

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Iconic 90s TV show ‘Friends’ celebrates 25th anniversary

The iconic, decade-long television show aired its first episode 25 years ago today

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Most Read