Close to 200 people took part in a vigil for the Langley shooting victims on Wednesday night (Aug. 3) in Langley City.
Organized by Langley City and Township at Innes Corners Plaza, the event heard people express grief, shock and outrage at the shooting spree that targeted homeless people, killing two and sending two others to hospital before police killed the suspected gunman.
Langley City mayor Val van den Broek and acting Langley Township mayor Petrina Arnason both talked about the need to take concrete action on homelessness.
Addressing relatives of the victims, van den Broek said Paul David Wynn, 60, and Steven Furness, 43, the two men who died, “will live in our hearts, and our actions, I promise you that.”
“People shouldn’t be living on the streets like animals,” van den Broek declared, “it’s so wrong.”
Arnason also called for change, saying “we need to do more, we will do more, but I want you to know that everybody is coming together as a community to share the grief and burden of this situation.”
One of the people who spoke was Robert Osborne, who knew Furness.
Osborne said Furness had his troubles, but “he had a heart of gold.”
“He did not deserve this,” Osborne said.
Langley City resident Heather Hogarth was looking for her homeless son when she drove by Innes Corners Plaza, saw the vigil, and decided to speak out.
“My son has been shot twice,” Hogarth revealed, “one year apart.”
“I’ve been lucky, twice.”
After she spoke, Hogarth told the Langley Advance Times that her son, who is partially paralyzed from his gunshot injuries, was nearby when one of the shootings occurred.
“He was right over there,” Hogarth said, pointing at the parking lot where one person had been critically wounded.
Jean Moulton called the shootings “terrible,” and made a heartfelt plea for better treatment of homeless people, reminding the audience that they are all somebody’s child.
“Give them a little compassion, they’re human beings,” Moulton said.
Langley Vineyard Church pastor Leith White talked about losing his brother two years ago.
“He had spent most of his life on the streets” White said, telling the families “I understand what you’re going through and my heart is breaking.”
Kim Snow, founder of the Kimz Angels charity that assists the needy and homeless in Langley, called for action.
“It’s too late for the sorry,” Snow said, “it’s time to do something.,”
Both Langley MPs spoke. Langley — Aldergrove Conservative Tako van Popta called the targeting of homeless people “completely unacceptable,” and thanked police and first responders for protecting the community. Cloverdale — Langley City Liberal MP John Aldag said Langley ‘had an evil inflicted” on it, adding “we need more, and we need more now.”
More photos from the Wednesday vigil may be viewed online at the Langley Advance Times Facebook page.
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