By Staff Writers
The Penticton Indian Band has set up a trust fund to help the families of three men shot to death on the band’s reserve on October 30, 2004.
Killed in the shootings were Quincy Paul, 29, a member of the Penticton band; Robin Baptiste, 24, a member of the Osoyoos band living in Penticton; and Damien Endry, 20, who lived in Oliver. Endry was a Caucasian whose stepfather is a member of the Osoyoos Indian band.
All three of the men killed left children behind.
Billy Gabriel, 18, was shot in the arm and his 31-year-old brother Tommy Lee, was shot in the face in the incident as well.
The teenager reportedly feigned death by falling into a nearby creek during the spray of bullets, holding his breath underwater. Billy floated underwater to safety.
Tommy Lee was flown to Kelowna hospital from Penticton where he underwent a six-hour emergency surgery to remove bullet fragments from his face.
The shooting incident took place in the afternoon on Green Mountain road at a popular party spot.
Dustin Paul, a 24-year-old member of the Penticton band, was taken into police custody after he left the Penticton hospital; after being treated for a knife wound to the throat.
Paul is charged with three counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder.
Speculation regarding the motives of the shooting includes a two-week old bar fight between Dustin and Tommy Lee; a drug turf war, and rivalry between the two bands.
Dustin Paul is said to have attempted suicide in the after math of the shooting by slitting his own throat with a knife.
Penticton Chief Stewart Phillip declined to comment on the tragedy. In deference to the families involved, the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, the organization representative of the interior bands, postponed their annual general assembly for 30 days.