‘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

Editorial: Put the phone away — just try it

Have you ever been at a restaurant with someone who won’t stop looking at their phone?

LAKE FLASHBACK: Garbage dumping and the Youbou sawmill: two subjects that never seemed to go away

Plus this week: LCSS rugby machine, and Lois Gage takes over Area I for hubby, John Ward

In Bloom Wildflower Festival celebrates spring in Cowichan Garry Oak Preserve

The Nature Conservancy of Canada’s annual event is back for its 13th year.

Once ‘The Foreigner’ arrives, everything changes in Tilghman County, Georgia

Funny, but touching, too, this play will have you in stiches. Don’t miss it

VIDEO: Killer whales hunt for seals in Vancouver harbour

Bigg’s killer whales feed on marine mammals like seals, sea lions, dolphins and even other whales

Cowichan Coffee Time: Awards, new digs and fundraising totals

• St. John Ambulance First Responder Divisional Superintendent Glyn Trafford got a… Continue reading

One million recyclable bottles “lost” daily in B.C., foundation says

387 million beverage containers didn’t make it back into the province’s regulated deposit refund system in 2017

VIDEO: B.C.’s waving granny gets incredible send-off from school kids

Tinney Davidson has been waving at students on their way to school for over 11 years, but is moving in a month

Struggling B.C. adoption agency elects new board that intends to keep it open

The previous board announced that Choices would close May 31

Island-born Snowbirds pilot enjoying homecoming in skies over Comox

Logan Reid once stood clinging onto the fence outside the Comox Air… Continue reading

Attack on student in Courtenay ‘way more than bullying’, says mom

A Comox Valley mother said “it was way more than bullying” at… Continue reading

Vancouver man, 19, charged in human trafficking case involving teen girl

The 16-year-old girl was reported missing and later discovered in Vancouver

Most Read