UPDATED: Second-degree murder charge laid in connection to stabbing
As members of the Tk’emlups Indian Band come to grips with the death of a promising young band member, Kamloops police are still trying to work out what sparked the fight that left 29 year-old Jesse Seymour dead.
Seymour, a TIB youth worker and father of one, died at Royal Inland Hospital just after 4 a.m. on Sunday, July 15, after being stabbed during what police have described as a “consensual fight” at a small house party at 746 Columbia Ave.
RCMP Staff Sgt. Grant Learned said Seymour and 29-year-old Torbin Alec had been drinking prior to the fight, and were both described by witnesses as “heavily intoxicated” when they began to argue.
“In a residence, and even typically in a licensed premise, the first comment is ‘take it outside.’
“And, of course, that’s what ostensibly happened,” Learned said.
Once the two were outside, police believe the argument escalated and a knife was produced.
Learned said the type of weapon used was expected to be determined during an autopsy scheduled for Monday, July 16.
Alec has been charged with second-degree murder and was to appear in court on Monday, July 16.
Learned said the two men knew each other and were “good friends who grew up together.”
Both Alec and Seymour — known as Optikz behind the mic — were active in the Kamloops hip-hop scene and had performed with the local rap crew Sundown Stylistics in the past.
Alec is also known to RCMP, Learned said, and has a history of violent and weapons-related offences.
In 2006, Alec was sentenced to a six-month jail term after threatening a man with a sharpened screwdriver outside a local gas station.
In 2009, he pleaded guilty to attempted robbery after he and a friend tried to rob a man in the Extra Foods parking lot.
It’s unclear what the argument that led to Sunday’s stabbing was about. Learned said police still have more witnesses to interview on the subject “before we have a really concrete idea about that.”
Learned said the party doesn’t appear to have been a rowdy one, noting the Columbia Street house isn’t normally on the RCMP’s radar.
A neighbour in the 700-block of Columbia Street said while the tenants host some get-togethers, they are typically not loud or disturbing to others on the block.
Seymour is the son of Tk’emlups Indian Band Coun. Fred Seymour, nephew of former band chief Manny Jules, son-in-law of B.C. Lt.-Gov. Steven Point and the father of a three-year-old boy.
Tk’emlups Indian Band Chief Shane Gottfriedson said the loss has shocked the community.
“We’re only 1,250 members and, when we lose one person, our whole community grieves,” he said.
“And, right now, there’s a lot of grieving going on and a lot of trying to understand why and how come. Such a young man with so much ahead of him — it’s hard to put the pieces together and find reason or rhyme.”
Gottfriedson described Seymour as outgoing and personable, with a large group of friends.
“All we can do at this time is pray for the family,” he added.
“This is going to be a hard one for our community, for sure.”
The homicide is Kamloops’ second of the year.