British Columbia

Peter de Groot Facebook memorial page launched

Friends and family of Peter de Groot, the suspected Slocan, B.C., gunman who died Monday in what police are terming an "interaction," have taken to social media to voice their concerns.

Friend describes 'the kind of person who leaves an indelible mark'

Suspected gunman Peter de Groot is being remembered by friends and family who say he is being unfairly depicted by media and police. (Facebook)

Friends and family of Peter de Groot, the suspected Slocan, B.C., gunman who died Monday in what police are terming an "interaction," have taken to social media to voice their concerns.

A Facebook support page that launched over the weekend was turned into a memorial page following the news of de Groot's death.

De Groot, 45, allegedly fired on police after they showed up to investigate a dispute between two people.

When police returned fire, de Groot fled into the woods, prompting officers to lock down the village and evacuate schools and homes.

David Scott, who posted that he and de Groot were students together at the University of Victoria in the '90s, wrote that he was "the kind of person who leaves an indelible mark."

Scott also posted that de Groot was "never prone to moderation.… Whatever he did, whether it be avoiding toxins in the environment, ensuring he had food with absolutely no additives, or deciding, as he did over a three-week period, to read the whole canon of 19th-century female English literature, he pursued with unwavering commitment and resolve."

Another friend, Christopher Gary, posted memories of canoeing with de Groot off Vancouver Island and drinking stinging nettle tea with him, as well as receiving advice on a love affair.

'Publicly judged and slaughtered'

"I remember so easily the sound of your laugh," Gary posted.

Gary also questioned the picture of de Groot presented in the media: "I hold the papers accountable for their many instances of shoddy reporting and sensationalization this week," he wrote.

"How wrong they are about how many relatives and friends care about you. How dare they manipulate perceptions so carelessly and generate fear in your community — law enforcement on duty there, too, are reading these exaggerations."

Susan McDonald criticized the media for their portrayal of de Groot. "I watched a man I have much fondness for be publicly judged and slaughtered," she wrote.

'It did not have to end this way'

"The cyber hyenas will continue to feast on his remains and toss around unsubstantiated 'facts,'" McDonald continued, "but the truth will be buried with Peter. A man who lived his ideals better than almost anyone I know. A man who was loved. A man who had love in his heart."

Christine Farrell remembered de Groot's support when she was going through a divorce. "He would visit from time to time, where others turned their backs on me. I deeply appreciated that."

He had, Farrell wrote, a "loyalty to help the underdog."

"This was a predictable outcome. It did not have to end this way," posted Dionne de Groot Beard. "Remember that Peter was a son, brother, cousin, friend and much more. We love you Peter and you will always be in our thoughts and prayers."

At a news conference Monday night, police said an emergency response team found the suspected gunman around 1.20 p.m. PT in a cabin near a gravel pit in the area.

''There was an interaction between the subject of the ongoing search and the two emergency response team members," RCMP Supt. Frank Smart said in a statement. "We can confirm the subject is now deceased.''

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