British Columbia

Obsessed with co-worker who rejected him, B.C. salesman gunned down her new boyfriend

Randy Scott became obsessed with a co-worker at The Brick furniture store in Pitt Meadows. When he learned she was dating someone else, Scott shot the other man four times in the head.

Randy Scott killed Peter Bender with 4 shots to the head in Maple Ridge in 2015

Peter Bender was killed by four shots to the head on Dec. 19, 2015. (Rafferty Baker/CBC)

Randy Scott was obsessed with a co-worker at The Brick in Pitt Meadows, B.C. They'd had a brief fling, and when she told him she didn't want to be his girlfriend, he was unwilling to accept the rejection.

She asked Scott to move on and leave her alone, but he wouldn't let his obsession go. When he learned she was dating someone else, he became violently enraged.

Within hours of confirming the new relationship, Scott loaded his shotgun, drove to the local church where the other man was parked, and shot him four times in the head, killing him instantly.

Police found 33-year-old Peter Bender's body inside his car in the Haney Presbyterian Church parking lot in the early morning hours of Dec. 19, 2015. By then, Scott had packed up his belongings and was on his way to the U.S.

The details of this "tragic and horrific" murder are laid out in a sentencing decision posted on the B.C. Supreme Court website this week.

Peter Bender was a 33-year-old father of two. (Garden Hill Cremation and Funeral Services)

Now 33, Scott was convicted of second-degree murder earlier this year, and in May, he was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 14 years.

Bender was a father of two small children he co-parented with his estranged wife, and Justice Kathleen Ker wrote that his murder has "shattered" the lives of his close-knit family.

"The impact of the offence on the Bender family is sudden, tragic, and far-reaching," Ker wrote.

"As a result of this needless shooting, a mother has lost a beloved son, two very young children have lost an adored father, two sisters have lost a cherished sibling, and the community of friends and family of Mr. Bender have been forever tragically affected."

Scott 'decided he wanted to harm someone'

According to the sentencing reasons, Scott briefly left his job at The Brick after he was rejected by Miranda Thomas in 2015.

While he was gone, the furniture store brought on Bender to work as a sales associate. Scott returned to the store in early December after another job fell through, and almost immediately became suspicious that Bender and Thomas were dating.

The night before the murder, Thomas agreed to attend a Christmas party with Scott, the decision says. But when he picked her up at home, he noticed a picture of her with Bender and his suspicions grew.

During the course of the evening, Scott tried to kiss Thomas at least twice, but she rebuffed him, according to the decision. Later, he confronted her about the photograph. She admitted she was dating Bender, and things got violent.

Scott physically picked up Thomas twice in an attempt to restrain her. She finally had to slap him in the face to get free.

For the rest of the night, Scott continued to call and text Bender and Thomas, sending them "vile" messages, according to the judge.

Scott made his way home and tried to go to bed, but couldn't sleep.

"Mr. Scott got up, and in his anger and desolation decided he wanted to harm someone, perhaps himself but certainly Ms. Thomas as well," Ker wrote.

Randy Scott planned to harm himself or Miranda Thomas, but killed Peter Bender instead. (Rafferty Baker/CBC)

Scott drove back to Thomas's home with those intentions in mind, but when he saw Bender in the church parking lot next door, the plan changed. Instead of hurting Thomas, he killed her boyfriend.

Once Bender was dead, Scott returned his shotgun to the safe at home and drove across the border into the U.S. He turned himself in to police in February 2016 after a warrant was issued for his arrest.

As a result of Scott's conviction, he is banned for life from owning or possessing any guns or restricted weapons. He also has to submit a DNA sample.